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Drawing - Glad to death's mystery, Swift to be hurl'd,/Anywhere, anywhere out of the world!
  • Glad to death's mystery, Swift to be hurl'd,/Anywhere, anywhere out of the world!
    Doré, Gustave, born 1832 - died 1883
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Glad to death's mystery, Swift to be hurl'd,/Anywhere, anywhere out of the world!

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    England (drawn)

  • Date:

    1871 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Doré, Gustave, born 1832 - died 1883 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Indian ink heightened with white

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Henry Herbert Harrod

  • Museum number:

    E.358-1948

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 128, box B

Victorian painters and writers were to some degree obsessed with the image of the fallen woman. The antithesis of the virtuous ideal, the prostitute was deemed to have committed the 'greatest sin of all' and such women were outcasts from family and society. Victorian society saw the prostitute as a once-innocent victim, a pure creature seduced and degraded, who must welcome death as her only escape from an insupportable life of guilt and despair. There was pity - in art, if not in life - for these 'soiled doves'. The fate of the prostitute was usually shown to be poverty, disease, and death, a death chosen by the girl herself in preference to her unhappy life. Thomas Hood's poem The Bridge of Sighs (1844) became a classic stereotype of the harlot and her destiny. Dore's illustration to the poem shows the psychologically dramatic moment when the girl chooses suicide; minutes later she will jump from the bridge and drown in the river below.

Physical description

Drawing in Indian ink heightened with white illustrating Thomas Hood's poem 'The Bridge of Sighs' (1844) became a classic stereotype of the harlot and her destiny. Doré's illustration to the poem shows the psychologically dramatic moment when the girl chooses suicide; minutes later she will jump from the bridge and drown in the river below.
Initialled by the artist.

Place of Origin

England (drawn)

Date

1871 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Doré, Gustave, born 1832 - died 1883 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Indian ink heightened with white

Dimensions

Height: 55 cm framed, Width: 30 cm framed

Descriptive line

Drawing by Gustave Doré entitled "Glad to Death's mystery, swift to be hurl'd,/Anywhere, anywhere out of the World" for the title page of 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood' and the poem 'The Bridge of Sighs'. French School, Great Britain, 1871.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum Charles Dickens: An exhibition to celebrate the centenary of his death London: HMSO, 1970. P.74. Catalogue of the exhibition held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, June-September 1970.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, and Department of Paintings, Accessions: 1948, Volume II, Henry Herbert Harrod Bequest, London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1957

Materials

Paper; Indian ink; White

Techniques

Drawing; Illustration

Subjects depicted

Deaths; Suicide; Bridges (built works); Rivers

Categories

Drawings; Illustration

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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