Catalogue entry

George Dawe 1781–1829

T00718 Imogen Found in the Cave of Belarius exhibited 1809

Inscr. ‘G. Dawe R.A. Pinxit’ b.r.
Canvas, 39½ x 50 (100.5x 127).
Purchased from P. M. Hill (Grant-in-Aid) 1965.
Coll: The provenance of the picture has not been traced.
It was purchased by P. M. Hill from a dealer, who has not divulged the source it came from.
Exh: B.I., 1809 (89).

As the artist became A.R.A. in 1809 and R.A. in 1813, the signature in its present form must have been added after the picture was exhibited at the B.I. Subjects illustrating Shakespeare were very popular at the time, witness the Boydell Gallery, opened in 1789. In the B.I. Catalogue the title of the picture was followed by a quotation from Cymbeline, Act IV, sc. 2, ‘Belarius: How found you him, etc.’. Imogen, disguised as a youth, had been left sleeping in a cave by her brothers and Belarius, when they went hunting, but she had taken a drug and was seemingly dead when they discovered her on their return.

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1964–1965, London 1966.