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Oil Painting - Melody (Musica)

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1897P17
Collection:Fine Art Paintings and Sculpture
Date:1895c - 1897c

Maker Information

Artist:Kate Elizabeth Bunce - View biography for Kate Elizabeth Bunce


One of the few known easel paintings by the artist who studied at Birmingham School of Art. The model may have been her sister, Myra, who designed beaten metalwork including the frames for some of Bunce's paintings.

The young woman playing a lute, framed by apple blossom, is facing an open window visible in the mirror behind her. The mirror frame is inscribed 'MUSICA' in the top left corner. She appears to be in a small private chapel with an image of the Virgin depicted in the stained glass, a crucifix and walls decorated with angels. Her necklace of gold set with pearls is a symbol of purity. The format of the composition, the use of ornate detail, the sensuous textures and the musical subject echoes Rossetti's female icons particularly the 'Blue Bower' (1865).

Presented by Sir John Holder, Bt., 1897.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Oil on canvas.

Associated People


Height:763 mm
Width:510 mm