Monday, April 26, 2010


(click to enlarge)
Henrietta Rae
(English, 1859-1928)
Isabella, ????
Oil on canvas

The painting shows a scene from John Keat's poem Isabella, or the Pot of Basil. It's a rather long poem, but to sum it up, Isabella's brothers murder her lover and cut off his head. Isabella then buries the head in a pot of basil and tends it obsessively. The painting depicts this part of the poem:
Hung over her sweet basil evermore,
And moisten'd it with tears unto the core.
 It's the subject of many paintings, so you'll probably be seeing Isabella again on this blog soon!

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