20×20″ oil on linen.
She was described by one artist as a symbolic fortress of inaccessible temperance, despite the fact she was the mistress of an Earl who had plucked her from the city streets. During a country house New Year’s celebration she was injured during a fireworks display when attempting to bring champagne to the pyrotech master; her foot had blown off completely. For her blood to be calm the surgeons waited until the following spring to saw away the infection that had engulfed her leg. In this portrait historié she is portrayed as Venus; her triumphant progress framed by the sumptuary surroundings assured to her by the Earl. Despite tinctures of ginger, opium, and doses of brandy, the shock and infection wore on and she met her demise within months. The Earl, ever sentimental, commissioned an 18k solid gold replica of her foot. He used it as a paper weight.
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)