[Ellen Orford]["I from my window saw his blooming bride,/ And my seducer smiling at her side;/ Hope lived till then"]
Etching on india, very large margins; platemark 195 x 165mm (7¾ x 6½"). Text effaced. Uncut.
Ellen Orford, One of few etchings by painter and arts administrator Richard Redgrave (1804-88). In 1837 Redgrave was a founding member of the Etching Club, under whose auspices this print was published in 1844 (as part of 'Etched Thoughts of the Etching Club'). Redgrave's works of the 1840s focused upon the plight of the underprivileged, as shown by this print, which illustrates an episode from George Crabbe's 'The Borough'. Crabbe's collection included various studies of the poor, along with indictments of the workhouse, and discussion of prisons and schools. One of the characters was Ellen Orford, described as having lived a savage life through which an indestructible Christian faith shines through. Here she looks out of the window and sees her 'seducer' with his 'blooming bride'. The collection is chiefly remembered now as the source for Benjamin Britten's opera 'Peter Grimes', in which Britten amplified the role of Ellen Orford to one of the principal roles opposite the eponymous Suffolk fisherman. In later years Redgrave painted less and became an influential arts educator and administrator, working with museums, international exhibitions, writing books and becoming surveyor of the queen's pictures.
[Ref: 35912] £75.00