Lorenzo and Isabella by Keats

WAG 6666


Bell was Head of the Decorative Arts Department at Liverpool School of Architecture and Applied Arts (1894 - 1899). From the turn of the 20th century he focused on religious, mythological and allegorical subjects. This is a design for an illustration to 'Isabella', a poem written in 1818 by John Keats from 'Poems by John Keats', published by George Bell & Sons in 1897. In the poem, Isabella falls in love with Lorenzo and her brothers are displeased because of his low status. They murder Lorenzo but tell Isabella that he went travelling. In a dream, Lorenzo's ghost tells Isabella the truth. She finds his body and buries the head in a pot of basil, a plant associated with lovers.