The Little Improvisatrice

SIMEON SOLOMON (1840-1905)
PRE-RAPHAELITE (founded 1848) Biography
AESTHETIC MOVEMENT (c.1867-c.1900)

The Little Improvisatrice (England, 1867)

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Pencil, pen and ink on paper
Signed with monogram, inscribed with the title and dated '67


24.70cm high
35.50cm wide
(9.72 inches high)
(13.98 inches wide)
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Exhibition History

Cheltenham, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museums,
Simply Stunning: Pre-Raphaelites and Aesthetes, their art and dress, June-August 1996, catalogue number 40,
Bideford, Burton Art Gallery, September - October 1996
Bradford, Bradford Art Galleries, Cartwright Hall, November 1996-January 1997

Description / Expertise

Three pretenders to the bohemian crown of the Pre-Raphaelite circle are forced to curtsey to the genuine `Stunners' who look on disdainfully.

When Burne-Jones met Solomon in the late 1850's, he thought his work as imaginative as anything he had ever seen. Solomon showed precocious talent, exhibiting his first Royal Academy picture at the age of eighteen in 1858. During the 1860's he was a highly influential young artist, one of the circle which was moving towards aestheticism, and which included Rossetti, Burne-Jones and the poet Swinburne. Solomon and Swinburne met in 1863, they became close friends and exercised a mutual influence on each other. Swinburne was at this time reading widely in classical literature including Ovid, Homer and Euripides. It was this source material that he used for his poem, Atlanta. Inspired by Swinburne's interest in classicism and by three trips to Italy between 1866 and 1870, Solomon was one of the instigators of the revival of classicism in the 1860s; this aspect of his work is shown in The Little Improvisatrice.