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A woman is playing the harp as she and her male companion sing together, representing a man and a woman in love. Etching by James Gillray.

Gillray, James, 1756-1815.
Date
October 25th 1805

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view A woman is playing the harp as she and  her male companion sing together, representing a man and a woman in love. Etching by James Gillray.
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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Credit: A woman is playing the harp as she and her male companion sing together, representing a man and a woman in love. Etching by James Gillray. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)


About this work

Description

"A pretty young woman and a fashionably dressed man sing together seated on upright chairs. She (r.) plays the harp, her head thrown back to look over her shoulder at the music-book which he holds open: 'Duets de l'amour'. On a round table which supports his elbow as he leans towards her is an open book: 'Ovid' [Art of Love]. She wears clinging draperies. Two cats gambol amorously on music-books on the ground. The elaborate décor of the room stresses the subject of the design. A large wall mirror (l.) hangs above a marble console which is supported on winged heads; a butterfly flies towards its own reflection. Chinese vases containing roses (twin flowers) flank a bowl in which gold-fish swim to meet each other. One vase only is fully visible; it is a scene of courtship. Below the console a heart-shaped vase, decorated with a Sphinx, stands on the floor. An oval picture elaborately framed hangs above the heads of the lovers: a Cupid fires a blunderbuss at two doves billing on a dove-cot. This is flanked by carvings of flowers with (l.) crossed torches (of Hymen) and (r.) the bow and arrows of Cupid. In the foreground (r.) is one corner of a console table supported by a grinning satyr with a cloven hoof; on it is a myrtle plant in an ornamental pot. The luxury of the room is shown by an arcaded wall with pilaster reflected in the mirror, and by a palm-tree pilaster"--Dorothy George in the British Museum catalogue, loc. cit.

Lettering

Harmony before matrimony. Js. Gillray des. & ft.

Publication/Creation

London (27 St. James's Street) : H. Humphrey, October 25th 1805.

Physical description

1 print : etching ; image 23.4 x 34.4 cm

Publications note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VIII, London 1947, no. 10472

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 28520i

Type/Technique

Language

  • English


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