The Enchanted Castle thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries

The Enchanted Castle

Oil Painting
ca. 1841 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Frances Danby (1793-1861) was born in Ireland and studied at the drawing schools of the Royal Dublin Society. He moved to England in 1813 and during his lifetime lived in London, Bristol, London and finally Exmouth in Devon. He also lived in Paris and Geneva between 1829 and 1838. He was elected ARA in 1825.

Danby's earlier Bristol works were landscapes and topographical views but by 1820 he had begun to experiment with literary, mythological and biblical subjects. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841 with the unattributed quotation appended to the title: 'O! how can mortals hope for bliss,/When fairies grieve in place like this'.

The painting had been previously catalogued as Danby's 'Calypso Grieving for her Lost Lover' of 1825 but it has since been identified as 'The Enchanted Castle'. This attribution is based on the fact that the subject of Psyche, Eros and the enchanted castle, taken from the satirical allegory by the second-century author Apuleius, fits the painting, while that of Calypso does not.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil on canvas entitled 'The Enchanted Castle' by Francis Danby. Great Britain, ca. 1841.
Physical Description
'The Enchanted Castle', oil on canvas; a woman in a long white drees wanders along the edge of the water, an enormous castle rises from the edge of the water in the middleground, waves lap along the columns supporting the weight of the building, an old delapatated building stands opposite, palm trees and other tropical plants line the edge of the water, large misty mountains rise in the distance backlit by the setting (or rising) sun.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 83.8cm
  • Estimate width: 116.8cm
Dimensions taken from Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990
Marks and Inscriptions
F. Danby (signed)
Credit line
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Object history
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Subjects depicted
Summary
Frances Danby (1793-1861) was born in Ireland and studied at the drawing schools of the Royal Dublin Society. He moved to England in 1813 and during his lifetime lived in London, Bristol, London and finally Exmouth in Devon. He also lived in Paris and Geneva between 1829 and 1838. He was elected ARA in 1825.



Danby's earlier Bristol works were landscapes and topographical views but by 1820 he had begun to experiment with literary, mythological and biblical subjects. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841 with the unattributed quotation appended to the title: 'O! how can mortals hope for bliss,/When fairies grieve in place like this'.



The painting had been previously catalogued as Danby's 'Calypso Grieving for her Lost Lover' of 1825 but it has since been identified as 'The Enchanted Castle'. This attribution is based on the fact that the subject of Psyche, Eros and the enchanted castle, taken from the satirical allegory by the second-century author Apuleius, fits the painting, while that of Calypso does not.
Bibliographic References
  • Parkinson, R., Victoria and Albert Museum, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 59-60
  • Evans, Mark et al. Vikutoria & Arubāto Bijutsukan-zō : eikoku romanshugi kaigaten = The Romantic tradition in British painting, 1800-1950 : masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Japan : Brain Trust, 2002
Collection
Accession Number
FA.66[O]

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record createdJanuary 14, 2003
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