Sir Charles Lock Eastlake

The Escape of Francesco Novello di Carrara, with his Wife, from the Duke of Milan

exhibited 1850

Sir Charles Lock Eastlake 1793–1865
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1270 × 1016 mm
Presented by Robert Vernon 1847

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Part of the cultural background to Romanticism was an explosion of historical writing. The medieval period was especially popular. Eastlake took this subject from a history of the Italian republics in the Middle Ages by Simonde de Sismondi. A liberal Swiss Protestant, Sismondi showed how Italy had been damaged by the transfer of power from local communities to tyrants like the Medici. Here, in an episode of 1389, the last lord of Padua flees the Duke of Milan. Contemporary Italians were being driven into exile for liberal sympathies and attempts to unify the country.

Gallery label, November 2016

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