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Tempera Painting - The Keepsake

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1928P156
Collection:Fine Art Paintings and Sculpture
Date:1898 - 1901

Maker Information

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


The painting is filled with Arts and Crafts motifs, popular with the Birmingham School of Art at this time. Ethel Newill who modelled for the figure on the right was a friend of Bunce's and came from a prominent artistic Birmingham family. Katie Palmer is the figure second from the right holding a staff and was also a friend of the artist. Margaret Louisa Wright modelled for the throned figure and was Bunce's cousin. It is recorded in her diary that she was asked to sit replacing an ill model.

It is based on a poem by Rossetti and was first shown with this quotation:

'Then stepped a damsel to her side,
And spoke and needs must weep:
'For his sake, lady, if he died,
He prayed of thee to keep
This staff and scrip'.

Bequeathed by Kate Elizabeth Bunce, 1928.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
School/Style:Arts and Craft
Medium:Tempera on canvas.

Associated People


Height:813 mm
Width:495 mm