Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

George Edward Robertson - The Lady of Shallott

“The Lady of Shallott,” by George Edward Robertson

I can’t find any biographical information about George Edward Robertson on the Web, and he’s not referenced in any of my usually comprehensive books on Victorian painters.  I selected this work because it’s yet another representation of a poem favoured by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:   Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shallot.”

“The Lady of Shallot” was the subject of paintings by  John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt,  and  John William Waterhouse.  I’ve already posted two of the Waterhouse paintings here and here.

Robertson’s painting sold at Sotheby’s in January 2014 for $71,250.  From the catalogue:

“The central figure on the shore, Lancelot grasps the delicate wrist of a noblewoman who clutches his shoulder in shock as he beholds the final resting place of the red haired maiden.  Her white gown spilling into the murky water below, the Lady of Shalott’s fair face rests in stark contrast to the distorted features of the claustrophobic crowd that leans in, curious and fearful as they await their Lancelot’s final judgment.  The sun sets in the background, reflecting its orange hues in the river below and casting the characters in a gentle glow at the close of day.  Drawing the viewer’s eye first from the river connected to the lady lying in the boat, along the lines of her barge through the brawny riverhands pulling her to shore, and onto the uncapped Lancelot and his frozen court, Robertson deftly shows his technical command of the large format style favored by the Royal Academy while emotively capturing an acute moment of literary magnitude.”


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