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Friendship and Loss in the Victorian Portrait: May Sartoris by Frederic Leighton

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This original and eloquent study brings Frederic Leighton's portrait of May Sartoris to life through the artist's remarkable friendship with May's mother, celebrated opera singer Adelaide Sartoris. The young Leighton frequented Adelaide's artistic and literary salon in Rome in the early 1850s, and was on intimate terms with her by the time he painted her daughter's likeness in England around 1860. Malcolm Warner places the work both within the tradition of British child portraiture since Joshua Reynolds and within its immediate biographical setting. Bringing together much new research into the circumstances of its creation, he suggests that its wistful mood and intimations of mortality may be a reflection of Leighton's relationship with Adelaide as much as a response to his adolescent sitter. May Sartoris emerges as an evocation of the Romantic 'child of nature', a meditation on themes of innocence and experience, and above all a testament to friendship.

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Additional Information

Additional Information

Author Malcolm Warner
Binding Paperback
Condition New
Pages 96
ISBN-13 9780300121353
Publisher Yale University Press

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