Description: The Abbot Ernestus
signed with monogram (lower right)
watercolour with bodycolour
18 1/8 x 12 7/8 in. (46 x 32.8 cm.)
Artist or Maker: Sidney Harold Meteyard (1868-1947)
Notes: This is one of twenty-five illustrations that Meteyard executed for an edition of H. W. Longfellow's Golden Legend, published by Hodder & Stoughton, London, in 1910. The book represents Meteyard's most ambitious venture into the field of illustration, an area in which many members of the Birmingham group excelled. Unlike most of these artists, however, he was not particularly concerned with making his illustrations integral to the overall design of the book, treating them as highly finished watercolours that remain essentially independent of the text.
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The present example shows Ernestus, Abbot of the convent of Hirschau in the Black Forest, pacing the cloister and soliloquising as follows:
'Slowly, slowly up the wall
Steals the sunshine, steals the shade.'
For further details and other examples, see The Last Romantics, exh. Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1989, cat nos. 87-9.
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