Examine and analyse three narrative painting by three different artists. How did each artist convey the story?
Many nineteenth century artists turned to the depicting of everyday life as their sole subject matter; however there are many who chose to return to more traditional subjects such a historical events, religious scenes and mythological characters. These artists are well known as the Pre-Raphaelites and broke away from the modernity development. The Execution of Lady Jane Grey was painted by Delaroche in 1833 almost 300 years after the execution, depicting the moment of the once Queen of England preparing for her death. Finding of the Saviour in the Temple painted by Holman William Hunt in 1854 is a scene cleverly created with vast amounts of symbolism behind his work. Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse painted in 1888 was inspired by a poem by Tennyson about a woman forbidden to look at the world directly.
The true tragedy of Jane Grey, who was the great-granddaughter of Henry VII, is that her death was through no fault of her own, but of the unfortunate fact of her heritage and of her Protestant Christian religion. The figure of Lady Jane Grey was resurrected in the Victorian era as a Protestant martyr, the innocent girl slaughtered by an overzealous Catholic monarch. She is the central focal point of the painting due to her dressed in white contrasting with the rest of the painting which uses a darker toned palette of greys browns and black. The a white silk dress, is blindfolded, her skin is translucent, untainted, unwrinkled and unblemished; not only referring to her young age of 16 but also her innocence, chastity, purity and her position in this political and religious feud. The red of the executer’s trousers are the only other colour which stands out which is inferring to him beheading her. The Protestant martyr image is only slightly undermined by the fact that the woman kneeling down is counting the Catholic rosary.
To the right of Lady...