Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sundays Art: Pre-Raphaelites Study of a Girl Reading 1860s-70s

Valentine Cameron Prinsep 1838-1904

This Pre-Rapaelite was very hard to find anything on. I might be mistaken but I think that this one actually is a mural or that Prinsep's other pieces were murals. The problem with the murals is that there was not enough preparation made to the wall before the paint was laid on. With in months of the pieces completion the paint began to sink into the wall. Today, despite many efforts to revive them, the pictures have almost disappeared. Which is more than likely the reason why I was not able to find a graphic of this piece on the web.

The subject some might view as dull. Prinsep made it compelling in the wonderfully absorbed expression of the reading girl. An absorption suggesting she has a true love of books and is fascinated with the story she reads.

This is for all the lady book lovers who just love books this much too.


  1. It's a beautiful painting, Elizabeth. I wonder if the girl in question is one of Thackery's daughters, who knew Val Princep well, or perhaps even Katherine Dickens - who was said to be in love with him? If so, it makes the work all the more meaningful - since the book could be that of the girl's father.
    Actually, it has all the appearances of oil on canvas, rather than a mural. Why do you think it is a mural? where did you find it? Gorgeous.

  2. Robert, I just checked in my art history book and it has nothing on who the model was. It is possible that it is one of Thackery's daughters. I had a HARD time finding any reference to this piece, I mean I literally found nothing.

    I only found a hint of it in Essential Pre-Raphaelites. One page in te whole book.

    "At the age of 19, Prinsep also came into contact with Dante Rossetti, as one of the group of enthusiastic mural painter at Oxford in the summer of 1857. Sadly, their enthusiasm was blighted by a basic ignorance of mural technique-they did not think to prepare the walls, and the pigments started to sink into the walls within 5 months of the pictures being completed."

    "Prinsep freely admitted that his art, following that blissful summer, was directly influenced by the charismatic Rossetti."

    This is the quote from the book and I think it has subtle hint in it. What do you think?

  3. How beautiful. It is such a calm and serene painting, but it has such emotion at the same time. Thanks for posting Lizzy!

  4. Such peace in this painting. I love this artwork! Thanks Lizzy.

  5. How I would love to have this in my house. It's just so beautiful and to agree with Muse, serene.

    Thank you for sharing this...I love this feature!

  6. Lovely piece of art. I would hang a print of it in my house any day. Have been in that pose many a time. It is such a shame more of this artist's work didn't survive intact.

  7. Yes, apparently Val Princep did assist with the murals at the Oxford Union. They were concerned with Arthurian myth, but were, as you say, a bit of a disaster in a technical sense. This is probably just one of his many individual works. A very fine painter.

  8. Thank you everyone I am pleased you found this one as lovely as I did. She is beautifully serene and the light trickling in the window makes it feel like it is at that moment in the afternoon when the sun is bright and dazzling.

    Robert, Ah Ha, you are so dang quick I love that we share a common love and you always bring such interesting points to the posts. Thank you and I will check the link out asap.


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