The Artist: Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys (born Antonio Frederic Augustus Sands)
The Model: Keomi Gray, a Romani or gypsy model for Pre-Raphelites Sandys, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (The Beloved), and (perhaps) Simeon Solomon; mistress of the artist for 5 years, with whom she had several children (1,2); subject of a yet-unpublished novel (3).
The Story: Until this painting was sold by Sotheby’s in 1997, it had not been viewed in public since 1879. (4)
The Emotion: She looks so sad. but then, all Pre-Raphalite women looked beautiful and tragic and sad. Even the ones who should have been happy.
(1) “The Grays of Sir Alfred Munnings’ Autobiography“. Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society: 154. 1953.
(2) Keomi Gray and Frederick Sandys, Romany References. (viewed 2/24/2012)
(3) Bill Macfarlane, The Gypsy Model, February 14, 2011.
(4) Hermes, “Frederick Sandys – Judith,” Pre Raphaelite Art blog, June 25, 2009