Friday, September 12, 2008

Mariana, by Valentine Cameron Prinsep

Mariana Valentine Cameron Prinsep Pictures, Images and Photos
Valentine Cameron Prinsep's 1888 painting of Mariana borrows much from Millais' version. Both paintings feature Mariana gazing out the window of her "moated grange." Prinseps' version is decidedly cheerier, and unlike Millais' autumnal painting featuring a backdrop of dying leaves, Prinseps' is set in spring, with tulips in abundance. The painting was originally exhibited in 1888 as part of a collection of twenty-one paintings entitled "Shakespeare's Heroines."

Valentine Cameron Prinsep is a lesser-known painter of the Pre-Raphaelite school, but his connections are fairly impressive! He was born in Calcutta, India in 1838, into a rather well-known family. His aunt was the pre-eminent photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, grandmother of Virginia Woolf (do you ever get the feeling that every person you read about is somehow related?). Valentine was good friends with Millais, Rossetti, and Burne-Jones, and his artwork definitely shows his friends' influence. During his life he wrote several books and plays, but he is best remembered for his artwork.


Source consulted: Shakespeare Online (The English Department at Emory University is responsible for this great resource--I highly recommend it!).

9 comments:

willow said...

This one is nice, too! I'm not familiar with this one, like I am the Millais version. Yes, it is cheerier with the tulips and all. I like the detail in her jewelry.

Yes, how is it that they were all connected in some way? Fascinating.

Margaret said...

I had never seen this painting before doing research for yesterday's post! I'm glad I ran across it though.

The detail in her jewelry is lovely, but I was particularly fascinated by her clothing, which is very different from Millais' Mariana (quasi-Medieval). This Mariana seems to be clothed in garb more reminiscent of Shakespeare's own time. Hmmm.

Grace said...

Interesting...I hadn't seen this one. With the prominent placement of the pot, I would have guessed this was an artwork of Isabella with her pot of basil if I didn't know better!

Margaret said...

I thought of that too, Grace! The pot is definitely reminiscent of Isabella's basil!

Judy said...

I had never seen this Prinsep work either. Thanks for finding it.

It kind of pales in comparison to Millais...far more illustrational.

It looks slightly Holman Hunt-ish to me in its highly rendered details but without HH's psychedelic coloring.

Melanie said...

not seen this before. Althouh the dress is skillfully done, there is something blank about her face- no feeling like you get in the previous painting.

Margaret said...

Yeah, I agree Melanie. There's definitely a lot less feeling in this painting than in Millais' classic work. But I guess if you take into account the fact that this one was meant more as a Shakespeare "illustration," it's not as much of a let-down.

Thorsprincess said...

With the obvious attention to the dress, jewelry, cap and gown, the tulips, at the clean surroundings, this is definitely the wealthy burgher version. Like Dutch portraiture, the attention here is to present a wealthy middle-class woman, at home in her well-appointed surroundings. The blandness of her expression reflects a certain self-contained complacency. Very interesting painting.

A World Away said...

Now this painting just doesn't grab me but then thats the fascination of it. I had to take a look again.