The story of Daphnis and Chloë was a popular subject in Continental art in the nineteenth century. Lemon shows the nymph Chloë and her Sicilian herdsman in the Italian countryside, blissfully in love. In Greek mythology, Daphnis was the inventor of pastoral poetry, giving added resonance to Lemon’s idyllic scene of rural pleasure.
Lemon was celebrated as a painter of pastoral Italian scenes, and genre subjects. Although born in Britain, he worked in Italy for much of his career, where he became associated with the Etruscan school of painters, led by Frederic Leighton and Giovanni Costa.