Judith and the Gypsy

18 Sep

Frederick Sandys, “Judith,” c.1860, Oil on board, 15.75 x 11.75 in, auctioned by Sotheby’s November 5, 1997 (Lot 188)

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Simeon Solomon;   mistress of the artist for 5 years, with whom she had several children (1,2);  subject of a yet-unpublished novel (3).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.

Frederick Sandys, “Medea,” 1868, Oil on canvas, 61.2 cm × 45.6 cm, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, England , UK

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, “The Beloved (‘The Bride’)”  1865-6,       Oil on canvas, 82.5 x 76.2 cm, Tate Collection,                 London, England, UK


(1)  “The Grays of Sir Alfred Munnings’ AutobiographyJournal 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

1 Comment

Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Cacciatore


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