Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Bridesmaid

Discovered this beauty in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. A true Pre-Raphaelite 'stunner', in every sense of the word. The painting is The Bridesmaid, by J.E. Millais (1829-1896), of the muse Miss McDowell. It was painted in 1851 and depicts the old superstition that if a bridesmaid passes a piece of wedding cake nine times through a wedding ring, she will see a vision of her future husband. Love the colour of her flaming golden red hair against that midnight blue background, and also the way the colour of her eyes reflect the pale greens of her corsage, (orange blossom, a symbol of chastity), and dress. Millais was a talented, precocious painter and his skill with the brush is very much in evidence with his rendering of her eyes, the silk/satin sheen of her dress and amazing rendering of the silverware sugar caster on the bottom left of the painting. It is only a small painting but it leaves a huge impression.

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