This is an allegorical painting where the representation of an abstract idea is expressed by using specific objects, human figures, and symbols. Here, the female nude symbolizes ideal beauty. We see a soldier wrapped with a spellbound look; an artist kissing her hand with respect; a poet with a raised hand holding a book, probably indicating some verses written in praise; and a gentleman looking at her with interest: all expressions to convey admiration for beauty. The fruits and silverware are gifts which indicate adoration. Rapid brushwork, bright colours and stark contrast between the figures in the foreground and background is a characteristic feature of this painting.
William Strang (1859-1921 A.D.) studied art at the Slade School, London for six years. By the mid-1890s, he had an international reputation as an artist. At first he concentrated on imaginary allegoricalscenes in a pseudo-Venetian manner influenced by his friends,Ricketts and Shannon. He was one of the original members of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and his work was a part of their first exhibition in 1881.
Provenance: William Strang (1859-1921 CE)
Material: British Oil on canvas
Date: 1913 CE
Accession Number: 22.4651