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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
Date
October 25th 1805

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Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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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.

Contributors

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

Lettering

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

Type/Technique

Language

  • English


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License information

You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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. CC BY


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