sir leighton

So I don’t normally post but I came across this painting called ‘The Accolade’ by Edmund Blair-Leighton while researching for my essay on gender identity and Malory and I found it really beautiful and fascinating. It’s of Queen Guinevere knighting Lancelot. Knights were usually knighted by their King, but Lancelot deliberately avoids receiving the sword from Arthur because he intends for Guinevere to give him the honour instead. Not only does this highlight his overwhelming love (he says himself that he loved her ‘oute of measure’) and respect for her, but it also acts as a pledge of his loyalty and service to her, and thus he would serve as the Queen’s knight as opposed to the King’s. The Queen becomes Lancelot’s lord and master, subverting all our expectations about gender and power in the medieval court.

Frederic Leighton (1830-1896)
“The Golden Hours” (1864)
Oil on canvas
Academicism
Currently in a private collection

Happy Birthday Sir John Tenniel! (28 February 1820 – 25 February 1914)

English illustrator, graphic humourist, and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th century. He was knighted for his artistic achievements in 1893. Tenniel is remembered especially as the principal political cartoonist for Punch magazine for over 50 years, and for his illustrations to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871). (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Illustration “The Sleeping Genie and the Lady. From “Dalziel’s Arabian Nights.” By Sir John Tenniel. By permission of Messrs. Ward, Lock & Co.” from The Brothers Dalziel. A Record of Fifty Years Work in Conjunction with Many of the Most Distinguished Artists of the Period 1840-1890. With Selected Pictures By, and Autograph Letters from Lord Leighton, P.R.A., Sir J.E. Millais, Bart., P.R.A., Sir E.J. Poynter, P.R.A., Holman Hunt, Dante G. Rossetti, Sir John Tenniel, Sir E. Burne-Jones, Bart., John Ruskin, and many others. London: Methuen and Co., 1901.