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Lady with decorative pot

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Prints1290 of 15413 Cincinnati Art Prints from the 1940'sPrint from ?  Need help identifying
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    Posted 9 years ago

    (6 items)

    this is a great print. I am just trying to find the artist and background information!

    We retrieved this out of an estate we are working on. This is a very large print. Probably from the 1920's? It really reminds me of the preraphaelite style.

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    1. rlwindle rlwindle, 6 years ago
      They used a huge version (25 feet) of this painting in the Dallas' Operas production of Korngold's opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) this year. It was really freaky to see the woman in the picture transform and come to life. The picture shrank down to a woman's normal size and then she transformed, and came to life, she went back into the picture later on.
    2. gembearer, 4 years ago
      This is called, "Isabella and the Pot of Basil" painted by John Alexander White in 1897. Here is more about it from the official source- it came from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
      Isabella, or The Pot of Basil was a poem written in 1820 by the English poet John Keats, who borrowed his narrative from the Italian Renaissance poet Giovanni Boccaccio. Isabella was a Florentine merchant’s beautiful daughter whose ambitious brothers disapproved of her romance with the handsome but humbly born Lorenzo, their father’s business manager. The brothers murdered Lorenzo and told their sister that he had traveled abroad. The distraught Isabella began to decline, wasting away from grief and sadness. She saw the crime in a dream and then went to find her lover’s body in the forest. Taking Lorenzo’s head, she bathed it with her tears and finally hid it in a pot in which she planted sweet basil, a plant associated with lovers.

      Alexander used theatrical effects to render this grim scene, isolating Isabella in a shallow niche and lighting her from below, as if she were an actor on a stage illuminated only with footlights. This eerie light, the cold monochromatic palette, and the sensuous curves of Isabella’s gown all draw the viewer’s eye to the loving attention Isabella gives the pot, which she gently caresses. Isabella seems lost in an erotic spectral trance, oblivious to the world and to observers. With his strange subject, Alexander created an extraordinary and mysterious image of love gone awry.
      I hope this helps. I have a mystery of my own to solve regarding some prints. Cheers!

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