The Enchanted Princess by James Smetham (1821-1889), featured in the Art Journal (see bibliography), p. 282. The comment there is as follows: "There is a spell-like quality in 'The Enchanted Princess'..., lying stiffly on a red-covered couch, before a receding arcade whose pillars are of flame-green. The reproduction should be turned upside down, and then compared with the Ophelia of Millais, painted in 1851-2, one of the most jewel-like and exquisite pictures in the whole range of British art" (282). Indeed, this is one of many representations of "sleeping beauties" at this time, perhaps better compared to those shown asleep rather than actually dead or dying. Examples include Edward Wenhert's depiction of the sleeping Madeline, from Keats's "St Agnes Eve," and Edward Burne-Jones's later The Rose Bower. Smetham's "receding arcade" is especially effective in suggesting the sleeper's withdrawal from the world. But the cross in the lower right-hand corner suggests that she is under divine protection.

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Related Material


“James Smetham and C. Allston Collins." Art Journal 66 (1904): 281-282. Internet Archive. Web. 21 June 2021.

Created 21 June 2021