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Lot 45: Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale, R.W.S. 1871-1945 , petrarch's laura at avignon watercolour with bodycolour in a frame designed by the artist
Victorian & Edwardian Art
July 12, 2007
London, United Kingdom
Description: signed within a cartouche l.r.: E F Brickdale watercolour with bodycolour in a frame designed by the artist
The poet Petrarch, whose original name was Francesco Petrarca and who had been expelled from Florence with his family by the Black Guelphs in 1312, met the young woman to whom he addressed his love poetry, calling her Laura, in Avignon in 1327. Her true identity is unknown, and yet she is immortalised as the object of his undying love, as described in the series of poems in which he praises her beauty and sweetness of character. These are collected together as ?Rime Sparse?.
Fortescue-Brickdale shows Laura half-length and holding a posy of anemones at her breast. She seems to stand on a terrace within the shadow of an unseen building. The expanse of water that forms the middle ground is presumably intended to signify the Rhone. In the distance, standing on a hill, is seen the curtain walls and turrets of an Angevin castle, inspired by the medieval architecture of Provence.
Dimensions: measurements note 36 by 25 cm., 14 by 10 in.