WH Doeg, and by descent to his granddaughter Mrs DM Headey;
With Sotheby's 17.3.1971 lot 128;
Bt J S Maas & Co Ltd, stock no 7912;
Sd Servase, 2.2.1973
JS Maas and Co, Victorian Paintings, Drawings and Water-Colours, 1971, no 37
In early life Poynter did design work in collaboration with William Burges. This subject seems to have started life as a design for a decorative scheme, one of a set of tiles for the Grill Room of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The theme is of Proserpine gathering flowers in the Vale of Enna, from Milton’s Paradise Lost: ‘that fair field /Of Enna, where Proserpine, gathering flowers, /Herself a fairer flower, by gloomy Dis /Was gathered’ (Book IV, lines 268-71).
Poynter loved to play with light, flowing under the trees, backlighting the composition, and edging the profile of the body leaving the cloth of the robe diaphanous. The zing of red in the flowers punctuates the cool greens and creams.