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The Abduction of Rebecca by Brian de Bois-Guilbert



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The Abduction of Rebecca by Brian de Bois-Guilbert
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1989.59
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Artist

Léon Cogniet

Title

The Abduction of Rebecca by Brian de Bois-Guilbert

Creation Date

ca. 1828

Medium & Support

watercolor and graphite on white wove paper

Dimensions

9 1/8 in. x 11 15/16 in. (23.2 cm. x 30.3 cm.)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund

Accession Number

1989.59

Copyright

Public Domain

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The dramatic subject of this work, from Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Ivanhoe” (1820), is a scene in which the Norman Templar Brian de Bois-Guilbert, together with his Saracen slave and the Jewish heroine Rebecca, escapes from the burning Torquilstone Castle. In this adventure-filled romance, Bois-Guilbert abducts Rebecca, who in this representation gazes heavenward as if praying for divine protection--an expression entirely in character for a protagonist with spiritual healing powers. As the trio flees, Ulrica, who had set fire to the castle, dances madly atop a flaming tower. This watercolor is an autograph rendition in smaller scale of Cogniet’s painting from 1828, now in the Wallace Collection, London, that was highly successful at the Salon of 1831. It is a key example of French Romanticism, indicative of its fascination with exotic types, embrace of bold colors, and penchant for dramatic action. “Ivanhoe” is credited with inspiring a revival of interest in the medieval world.
 


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