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This subject is taken from a poem The Ballad of Oriana by Alfred Tennyson. Oriana stands on the wall of a castle, watching her betrothed in battle below. An arrow aimed at him goes astray and she is killed instead.Frederick Sandys was influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and the meticulous technique of this work shows that he shared their interest in fifteenth-century Flemish painting, in particular the work of Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck. The bridge in this picture which suggests a European setting was actually based on the Bishop’s bridge in Norwich, Norfolk.

July 2007