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Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828):
Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester

A421; oil on canvas; 35 x 27 cm.

Prov: Alexander Hamilton Douglas, 10th Duke of Hamilton and by descent.

Presented by Mrs W.F.R. Weldon, 1933; WA1933.3.

Noon 1991, no. 141.

The story of Amy Robsart is told in chapter 5 of Sir Walter Scott's Kenilworth: the tragic heroine has made a secret marriage to Lord Leicester and here is seen pleading with him to make public their vows. He later prefers to satisfy his political ambition rather than fulfil his private obligations. This painting was probably made in Paris in 1827 and was inspired not only by the contemporary vogue for Scott's novel, but by the production of Victor Hugo's new play, with scenery and costumes designed by Delacroix. The figure of Leicester is based on Clouet's portrait of Charles X in the Louvre.

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Information derived from the Ashmolean Museum's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.

Link to the BBC's Your Paintings page of the Public Catalogue Foundation