Arthur HughesThe Eve of St Agnes 1856

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Artwork details

Artist
Arthur Hughes (1832‑1915)
Title
The Eve of St Agnes
Date 1856
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 710 x 1245 mm frame: 1010 x 1545 x 100 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by Mrs Emily Toms in memory of her father, Joseph Kershaw 1931
Reference
N04604
On loan to Palazzo Chiablese (Turin, Italy)

Summary

The prototype for this work was William Holman Hunt's 1848 painting, The Flight of Madeline and Porphyro during the Drunkenness Attending the Revelry (The Eve of St Agnes) (Guildhall Art Gallery, Corporation of London), based on Keats's Eve of St Agnes (published 1820). Hughes's triptych depicts three scenes from Keats's poem: Porphyro's approach to the castle (left), the awakening of Madeline (centre), and the lovers' stealthy escape over the drunken porter (right). The following lines from the poem are written in paint at the bottom of the original gold frame:
They told her how, upon St Agnes' Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey'd middle of the night… (read more)

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