Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

"The Blue Bird," by Frank Cadogan Cowper

“The Blue Bird,” by Frank Cadogan Cowper

Today’s painting, “The Blue Bird,” is another work by Frank Cadogan Cowper, who was featured last Sunday.  I liked his imagery, and wanted to see more.

“The Blue Bird” is in a private collection.  It was sold most recently at auction by Christie’s in 2011 for £373,250 ($610,264).

From the catalogue:

“The picture does, however, undoubtedly relate to Madame d’Aulnoy’s fairy tale of the same name, first published in 1697.  This tells of a beautiful young princess, Fiordelisa, who falls in love with a handsome prince.  He returns her love, but her wicked step-mother, wanting him to marry her own ill-favoured daughter, Turritella, shuts her up in a tower and attempts to blacken her name with her suitor.  When the prince, refusing to marry Turritella, is transformed into a Blue Bird by her fairy godmother, he flies to the tower and holds amorous tête-à-têtes with Fiordelisa, bringing her presents of jewels as tokens of his affection.

“Cowper shows the lovers enjoying one of these trysts, the princess holding a rope of pearls that the Blue Bird has evidently just given her.”

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