Hand drawn in grisaille (ink and monochromatic water color paint) for a book of Dryden poems after a Boccaccio fable. The somber black and grey-tone scene is entitled "The Marriage of Sigismonde with Giscardo" and depicts a beautiful young couple clasping each other as they take matrimonial vows officiated by a priest in a stygian cave.
The penned text at the bottom reads": On either side their kisses flew so thick That neither he nor she had time to speak The holy man amazed at what he saw made haste to sanctify their bliss by law". The doggerel is written around a monogram of a shield with the initials "RK" and "1793".
The hand-laid cotton rag paper is completely intact but show evidence of old cracks in the pigment surface. It was archivally mounted and framed about 25 years ago, and is till in a good state of preservation. Measures 16" X 21" overall. Matting is two shades of grey and frame an antique bronze-gold with garland details.
Truly a testimony to unrequited love and an unusual work of art in an obscure medium that, had all-but-died out by the 19th century.
It would be interesting to know who the artist "RK" was, and if the illustration was ever engraved for a book.
What an interesting wedding gift this would make!
Period Furnishings, Fine Art & Artifacts,
Originally established as a Richmond store, Cary is now selling exclusively online through Ruby Lane!