Monday, February 21, 2011

John Everett Millais - Oh! that a dream so sweet, so long enjoy’d, Should be so sadly, cruelly destroy’d’ –Moore’s ‘Lalla Rookh’ 1872

Oil on canvas
Lent from a private collection, courtesy of Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London

The Irish poet Thomas Moore’s Indian romance of 1817, Lalla Rookh, was popular in art from the Romantic period. Millais’s evocative female beauty, fashion, and floral accessories are painted with the active brushwork characteristic of his maturity and inspired by Velázquez. His image of exotic disillusionment is as removed from Moore’s imagined East (the poet had never travelled to India) as it was from 1872, and forms a play on artificiality and painterly performance.

currently on loan to the Tate

No comments: