Friday, 14 May 2010

King Cophetua

 King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, by Edward Burne-Jones, 1884

Let's have some romance! I'm writing a romantic story so I'm in the mood for something sweet, like the painting above. It happens to be one of my favourite Pre-Raphaelite pictures. The story is very simple: King Cophetua is looks out of the window one day and sees a pretty beggar woman, Penelophon, in the streets. He's famous for not being much of a one for the ladies, but falls in love at first sight and so hard that he brings her into the palace, makes her the queen and they live happily ever after.

That's it. Very simple, very sweet, nobody dies or suffers horribly. Nothing like the story I'm writing then, in fact...

Actually one of the reasons I really like this picture is because of the bloke. There are comparitively few male subjects in Victorian mythological painting, which is heavily focused on the female form. This is, off the top of my head, the only one where I look at the man and think "Oh - he's hot." Also I like the thought of him sitting round on the steps in field-plate.

Another (and sadly blander)Victorian treatment of the same story, by Edmund Blair Leighton:


Craig Sorensen said...

I like the symbolism in the Edward Burne-Jones painting and the adoration on his face as he sits below her looking up.

Janine Ashbless said...

Yes - he's so obviously smitten, isn't he? My what a big sword he's got between his thighs ... but he's taken his crown off. A candidate for the Male Submission Art site, I think!

Jo said...

He's certainly rocking his cheekbones.

Danielle said...

i can only say that i m with craig and his opinion about the adoration on his face...ach those evil heartbreaking women who enchain us:-)

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh, you love being enchained - admit it.