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Slave Girl

Artist/Maker: Valentine Cameron Prinsep (England (b. India), 1838-1904)

Date: ca. 1880
Medium: oil on canvas
Sight: 35 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (90.2 x 69.9 cm)
Framed: 48 x 40 1/4 x 2 7/8 in. (121.9 x 102.2 x 7.3 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alan Radcliff
Object number: 72.009.000
DescriptionAlthough Prinsep was associated with Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites, the Orientalist compostion, Slavegirl more accurately reflects the work of the so-called High Renaissance Victorian painters after the 1850s, such as George Frederick Watts (whose greatest patron, Thorby, was Valentine’s father). These artists adopted a classical figurative approach based on 16th century Italian art and sculpture. This intriguing image of a beautiful, occidental woman hovering within Eastern surroundings, reflects the Victorian fascination with the exotic and the romantic, as well as the interest of the Indian-born artist, who
painted a number of similar works. Tales of the white slave trade were popular contemporary subjects of artistic and literary compositions, stories of European women kept as slaves or wives in Middle Eastern harems being titillating, if not factual. Here, sumptuously painted details suggest a palatial, Islamic setting.
Not on view
In Collection(s)