Sunday, June 6, 2010

Night and Her Daughter Sleep

My daughter and I finally finished reading Ivanhoe yesterday. (Yay!)  Since we had different printings of the Signet Classics version of the book, I wanted to know more about the cover art chosen to depict the story for both editions (2001 and 2009). Whilst I had gone a-black-berrying with Ivanhoe, somewhere along the path I came across this absolutely gorgeous painting.

Night and Her Daughter Sleep, 1903
By Mary Lizzie Macomber (1861-1916)

This image, while having nothing to do with my original intent of the morning, is by far the most stunning of all the images I stumbled upon.  The recorded artist, Mary Macomber, was a Pre-Raphaelite painter from Massachusetts. In fact, as I read further, I found that she was the only female American in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, and I had never even heard of her before today.

I tried to find more of her paintings, and discovered that while there are at least fourteen images of them out there, I was able to gain access to far fewer.  Imagine my surprise at discovering this one of her paintings among the MFA archives (not currently on view).

Yes. It’s Isabella
(and her sad, shiny pot of basil).

And, elsewhere, this very striking Conté crayon sketch, My Angel.

The ethereal and peaceful beauty of the first and third of these images evokes a visceral response in me.

I’m going to have to do some more research on this interesting artist and the provenance of Night and Her Daughter Sleep.

1 comment:

Stephen Bourque said...

Those paintings and the drawing are absolutely amazing and beautiful.