Collection online

print / newspaper/periodical

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1949,0411.41

  • Description

    'Until her Death', a woman seated on the ground with hand to chin looking at a figure of Death; proof of an illustration to 'Good Words', 1862 Wood-engraving on thin paper

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1862
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 101 millimetres
    • Width: 125 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Two working drawings for the print are in the Department (P&D 1949-4-11-39,40), and the print has the same provenance as they do. The finished design supplied to the Dalziels for engraving is in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (inv.no. 01-D.29, Elzea 2.B.52).
    Entry from 'Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy':
    'This print was published in 'Good Words' in October 1862 (p.312) to accompany a poem entitled 'Until her death' written by the novelist, Mrs Craik (Dinah Maria Mulock 1826 - 1887) . Three undated letters concerning the illustration written by Sandys to the Dalziel brothers have survived, in one of which the artist gives an explanation of his design:
    ‘ The poem ‘Until her Death’ is very beautiful but almost impossible fairly to illustrate. I have chosen to represent a fair maiden choosing the path she will pursue ‘Until her Death’ . Death himself is holding up a nun’s dress and fitting on his own head her hood. ‘Will it be lonely this mysterious death. Fit end unto the solitary living’. On a chair, by his side is a brides dress, wreath and vail [sic], a child bauble and bells lying on it. ‘Or will she part in pain, from warm love to the chill unknown’. To all thoughtful purchasers of Good Words this will be understood. For the rest it signifies nothing.’ (Quoted in B. Elzea, Frederick Sandys 1829 - 1904: A Catalogue raisonné, Woodbridge, 2001, p.216).
    Sandys was a Pre-Raphaelite painter from Norwich who was particularly admired for his highly expressive wood-engravings, of which he designed twenty-five. The pious mood of this subject in which a solitary religious vocation is contrasted with an early death in childbirth is typical of the illustrations which appeared in Victorian magazines of the 1860s. Much of Sandys’s work was influenced by early German and Netherlandish art, and this design is clearly inspired by Dürer’ s 'Melancholia' as well as by Rethel’s 'Death the Friend (cat. no.273) which had a major impact on English book illustrators of the period.

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  • Bibliography

    • Elzea 2001 2.B.54/55 (cf) bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XIXc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2002/3 Dec-Mar, London, BM, Dürer and his Legacy, no. 277

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Good Words
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1949

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1949,0411.41

'Until her Death', a woman seated on the ground with hand to chin looking at a figure of Death; proof of an illustration to 'Good Words', 1862 Wood-engraving on thin paper

Recto

'Until her Death', a woman seated on the ground with hand to chin looking at a figure of Death; proof of an illustration to 'Good Words', 1862 Wood-engraving on thin paper

Image description

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