“Musidora”, by Tilney Frederick Colin

(Westminster 1870- Westminster 1951)

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Beautiful oil on canvas depicting a young woman bathing. She is a typical Art Nouveau beauty with red hair. Signed lower right for Tilney Frederick Colin. Exhibition ticket from the Royal Institute of Oil Painters on the back, mentioning the name and address of the artist and also the title: Musidora, from Thomson’s seasons.

Size: H 35cm x W 45cm – H 47cm x W 56cm

English school, circa 1900.

Lit: The inspiration for this painting came from a series of four poems written by the Scottish author James Thomson. Each poem took a different season as its theme and were published one season at a time between 1726 and 1730. The poems proved to be extremely influential, and many artists were inspired to produce works based on them. The painting illustrates a scene from the poem in which a young man (who does not appear in the scene) accidentally sees a young woman bathing naked and is torn between his desire to look and his knowledge that he ought to look away.

Lit: Tilney, born in Westminster, was a painter, etcher, photographer, author, designer, and musician. Following studies at Birkbeck College in London, he entered Westminster School of Art. He illustrated the English version of the Fables of Lafontaine. He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement.


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