A pair. Both oil on canvas; initialled, and signed and titled verso
30.75 x 15 inches
Maclean's Gallery, 1876
Boughton was born near Norwich, raised in New York, and educated in Paris before he made his career in London. The subject is from an anonymous Middle English allegory, The Floure and the Leafe, which for hundreds of years was mistakenly believed to be one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s finest poems. Two companies of knights and maidens, one of the Leaf and the other of the Flower, dance and sing in the forest. The maidens of the Leaf are faithful and enduring, and their goddess is Diana the huntress. The maidens of the Flower are pretty, but they love idleness, and their goddess is Flora. The female narrator finally decides she will join the company of the Leaf.These paintings were exhibited at Maclean’s Gallery in 1876, where they were noticed by the critic of The Graphic magazine: ‘Mr. G.H. Boughton has seldom painted anything better than his two studies from Chaucer The Leaf and The Flower. In either case the young ladies are distinguished by a certain quietude and severity of style which is appropriate to the period’.