Rare early work up for sale

‘The meeting of Dante and Beatrice (La Vita Nuova)’ by Eyre Crowe (1848)

A large oil painting by Eyre Crowe is for sale at Chiswick Auctions on 8 November.

The meeting of Dante and Beatrice (La Vita Nuova) was painted in 1848, right at the start of Eyre Crowe’s career. The canvas, which is almost two metres wide, shows the influence of his Pre-Raphaelite friends, but also the device of a horizontal line of characters which Crowe employed throughout his career.

The painting does not seem ever to have been exhibited. It may have been sold soon after its execution. Crowe noted that it was up for sale at Christie’s in 1899 and noted in his diary his disappointment at the low price of 28 guineas. However, seeing it again after a long period, he wrote that the composition ‘looked thin and straggly’.

Today the estimated price for the work is £700-£1,000.


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