O Mistress Mine (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) is influenced by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Act II, Scene III, where Duke Orsino’s invocation to music and love begins. “O Mistress Mine where art thou roaming?” as sung by what can be termed as either ‘the clown’ or ‘the lutist’ depicted on the right-hand right side of this painting.
This depiction is by Edwin Austin Abbey (born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 1, 1852), an American artist, illustrator, and painter. His art is referred to that painted during the “golden age” of illustration, and he is best known for his drawings and paintings of Shakespearean and Victorian subjects. His most famous work, “The Quest of the Holy Grail”, resides in the Boston Public Library. He became an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly (1871-1874) and his illustrations were strongly influenced by French and German black and white art.
According to Wikipedia, in 1908-1909, Abbey painted a number of murals and other artworks for the rotunda of the new Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His works in that building include allegorical medallions representing “Science, Art, Justice, and Religion”, in the State Capitol Rotunda. Unfortunately, Abbey became ill with cancer and died on August 1, 1911. never finishing his commission for the State Capitol.
However, if you are interested in hearing a modern-day depiction of Shakespeare’s “O Mistress Mine” you can do so via Elvis Costello’s soliloquy on John Harle’s album entitled “Terror & Magnificence” which is available on YouTube.
For further artworks – see my A-Z Artists page.
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