Study for Dante and Beatrice: Female Attendant

WAG 10366


This is a study for a painting also in the Walker Art Gallery collection called ‘Dante and Beatrice’ (WAG 3125) by Henry Holiday (1839 - 1927). It is on display in room 08. The theme of the painting is inspired by the autobiography Vita Nuova of the medieval poet Dante (1265 - 1321). Dante concealed his love for Beatrice by pretending to be attracted by other women. The scene depicted in the painting is that of Beatrice (in the center) refusing to greet Dante because of the gossip that had reached her. This drawing, as well as other studies in the collection demonstrate the development of the final painting and its various stages. This is a study of the figure to the right of Beatrice, a maidservant who was modelled on Kitty Lushington, the daughter of a well-known judge.