On display

Love and the Maiden (1877)

Love and the Maiden is a tempera on canvas by English Pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, executed in 1877.

This painting is considered one of Stanhope's best, and represents two radically different artistic phases of his life. Although he began as fervently Pre-Raphaelite in outlook, Stanhope was deeply attracted by the Aesthetic movement during the 1860s. Love and the Maiden is a succinct mingling of these two equally formative phases in his career. Its presence in the 1877 exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery - Aestheticism's most famous exposé - demonstrates his adherence to the latter movement, whereas the painting's similarity to the work of Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti - the group of dancing women in the background are similar to those portrayed by Rossetti in The Bower Meadow (1871–72) - betray Stanhope's Pre-Raphaelite background.