|A picture so big it interfers with the side-bar...|
Righty-ho and here we go. The current owner, the lovely Pat, bought it at auction between 15-20 years ago and the information she was given at the time was that it was painted in Austria by an English artist, for a grand house. It was painted at the end of the 1800s, possibly to mark the turning of a new century as it appears to be about time and the dawning of a new age. An assembly of figures move toward some steps, marked by a mask of Janus, seemingly greeted by a misty female spirit, gesturing them on.
The figures in the picture interest me greatly. Are they allegories or are they meant to be real people? The knight at the back, the poet at the front, and the man on the horse look as if they are meant to be actual people, or at least remind me of figures from other paintings. The crouching woman reminds me of depictions of Elizabeth of Hungary. Possibly they are Christian saints or important religious figures? But then they are crossing by a figure of a Roman deity, so maybe that's out.
|Detail of the musician/poet|
So the names that have been put forward at various times are Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale (I have to admit it was was first thought as the style is so like hers), Harry Mileham, Walter Crane, Robert Anning Bell, Robert Bateman, Evelyn de Morgan, Ernest Normand, and the favourite, Henry Holiday. Holiday spent time in Austria and Germany, loved Tennyson (doesn't it look like Tennyson on the horse?) and did a hooping great big mural for Rochdale Town Hall on the signing of the Magna Carta. Normand also spent time in Germany and greatly admired Tennyson, so equally it could be his work.
Now, Art Avengers, does anyone have any ideas as to the artist or subject of this massive piece of magnificence? I love it when something this fabulous appears in my inbox and thanks to Pat for letting me share it with you. Hopefully we can be of help....