Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail
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Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail 1849
  • Scottish Art
Dyce's watercolour evokes the mythic medieval world of King Arthur and his knights. Arthur's sad expression as he watches Lancelot kiss Queen Guinevere's hand in farewell, reflects his knowledge of Guinevere and Lancelot's love for each other and his awareness that many of his men will not return. The composition represents 'Piety' and was designed for one of seven panels depicting the Christian virtues, based on Sir Thomas Malory's poem 'Le Morte d'Arthur.' These were destined for the Queen's Robing Room in the new Houses of Parliament, but the Royal Commission supervising the project rejected this design, considering its mood too pessimistic.

Glossary Open

Composition

The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Watercolour

A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Composition, Watercolour

Details

  • Acc. No. D 4788
  • Medium Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil on buff paper, laid down
  • Size 23.30 x 44.00 cm (framed: 43.81 x 59.05 cm)
  • Credit Mr Charles Guthrie Gift 1958