Friday, February 23, 2018

01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible!, With Footnotes - 94

Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee, KCVO PRA (1853 – 1928) 
Paolo and Francesca, c. 1894
Oil on canvas
130 × 130 cm (51.2 × 51.2 in)
Private Collection

Francesca da Rimini or Francesca da Polenta (1255–ca. 1285) was the daughter of Guido da Polenta, lord of Ravenna. She was a historical contemporary of Dante Alighieri, who portrayed her as a character in the Divine Comedy.

Daughter of Guido I da Polenta of Ravenna, Francesca was wedded in or around 1275 to the brave, yet crippled Giovanni Malatesta. The marriage was a political one; Guido had been at war with the Malatesta family, and the marriage of his daughter to Giovanni was a way to solidify the peace that had been negotiated between the Malatesta and the Polenta families. While in Rimini, she fell in love with Giovanni’s younger (and still hale) brother, Paolo. Though Paolo too was married, they managed to carry on an affair for some ten years, until Giovanni ultimately surprised them in Francesca's bedroom sometime between 1283 and 1286, killing them both. 

In the first volume of The Divine Comedy, Dante and Virgil meet Francesca and her lover Paolo in the second circle of hell, reserved for the lustful. Here, the couple is trapped in an eternal whirlwind, doomed to be forever swept through the air just as they allowed themselves to be swept away by their passions. Dante calls out to the lovers, who are compelled to briefly pause before him, and he speaks with Francesca. She obliquely states a few of the details of her life and her death, and Dante, apparently familiar with her story, correctly identifies her by name. He asks her what led to her and Paolo's damnation, and Francesca's story strikes such a chord within Dante that he faints out of pity. More on Paolo and Francesca

Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee KCVO PRA (London 27 November 1853 – 17 October 1928) was an English Victorian painter and illustrator, best known for his pictures of dramatic literary, historical, and legendary scenes. He also was a noted painter of portraits of fashionable women, which helped to bring him success in his own time.

Dicksee's father, Thomas Dicksee, was a painter who taught Frank as well as his sister Margaret from a young age. Dicksee enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1870 and achieved early success. He was elected to the Academy in 1891 and became its President in 1924. He was knighted in 1925, and named to the Royal Victorian Order by King George V in 1927.

Dicksee painted The Funeral of a Viking (1893; Manchester Art Gallery), which was donated in 1928 by Arthur Burton in memory of his mother to the Corporation of Manchester. Victorian critics gave it both positive and negative reviews, for its perfection as a showpiece and for its dramatic and somewhat staged setting, respectively. The painting was used by Swedish Viking/Black metal band Bathory for the cover of their 1990 album, Hammerheart.  More on Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee 







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