Anne Killigrew lived in Falmouth and was highly praised as both a poet and an artist during her lifetime.
Venus Attired by the Graces by Anne Killigrew, 17th century
© Falmouth Art Gallery
- Oil on canvas
- 112 x 95 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £15,000 ( Total: £55,000)
- Acquired in:
- Philip Mould
Her early death from smallpox at the age of 25 was much maligned and John Dryden dedicated a poem in memory of her. In fact, Dryden appears to directly refer to this work in his poem talking of nymphs of brightest form and shaggy satyrs. This work is one of only three works known to still exist by Killigrew. Besides the classical narrative portrayed within it, the work has a rich and rather surprising history all of its own. Recent restoration work carried out on the painting uncovered traces of amendments made to it in the 19th century. It seems that Venuss exposed back was a trifle too much for the paintings Victorian owners to bear, and so they had her concealed painted over with a gold dress. Happily she has now been disrobed.
The artists brother, Admiral Henry Killigrew; his sale 1727; Mr Stenhouse by 1915; thence by descent.
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