Enamel, in original gilt-wood and gesso carved frame
Unframed: 40.5 x 46 cm (15 15/16 x 18 1/8 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2013.51
Henry Bone was known for his enamel paintings created through a laborious process of fusing painted glass to copper and firing at controlled temperatures.
Henry Bone devoted three years of his life to creating this work, a tremendous technical achievement and the largest enamel that had ever been made. The painstaking process requires each application of color to be fired at a different temperature. The enamel is after Titian's famous Bacchus and Ariadne, an early 16th-century Italian masterpiece. Bone had the lavishly carved, gilt wood frame designed specially for the work, indicating the cultural value placed on great enamel reproductions of a famous painting. Bone was unable to show this enamel at the annual Royal Academy exhibition because the Prince of Wales asked to see it. When the prince decided not to purchase it, Bone issued tickets for visitors to come see the work in his studio. More than 4,000 people went to see the enamel before it was purchased by a collector.
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