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Scene from Sir Walter Scott's "Anne of Geierstein": Hermione takes refuge in the chemical laboratory of Sir Herman, an Austrian alchemist. Oil painting.

  • Scott, Walter, 1771-1832. Anne of Geierstein.
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About this work


Hermione is the daughter of a Persian Zoroastrian traveller and magus, Danischemend. Sir Herman is the Baron of Arnheim. As he enters his laboratory "The silver lamp was extinguished, or removed from its pedestal, where stood in place of it a most beautiful female figure in the Persian costume, in which the color of pink predominated ... The figure of this young person was rather under the middle size, but perfectly well formed the Eastern dress, with the wide trousers gathered round the ankles, made visible the smallest and most beautiful feet which had ever been seen, while hands and arms of the most perfect symmetry were partly seen from under the folds of the robe ... The pedestal on which she stood, or rather was perched, would have appeared unsafe had any figure heavier than her own been placed there. But, however she had been transported thither, she seemed to rest on it as lightly and safely as a linnet, when it has dropped from the sky on the tendril of a rosebud."

Physical description

1 painting : oil on canvas ; canvas 25.5 x 30.5 cm

Creator/production credits

A painter by the name of William Long (fl. 1821-1855) exhibited several paintings of episodes in "Anne of Geierstein" at the Royal Academy between 1833 and 1847, but these were larger paintings (about 20 x 30 inches including the frame). The present painting might be a preliminary sketch by Long for one of them. An attribution to George Cattermole has also been suggested: a painting by him of an episode in "Anne of Geierstein" was offered for sale at Christie's South Kensington on 21 May 1998 (lot 34/2)

References note

Christopher Wright et al., British and Irish paintings in public collections, New Haven and London: Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2006, p. 201


Wellcome Library no. 45105i

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