Object number : BATVG : P : 1923.5

Art work type and title :

Oil Painting

The Bride of Death

Design and creation :

Date : 1839 Creator role : Artist
Artist : Barker , Thomas Jones
Birth date :
1813

Death date :
1882

Measurements :
Height (cm) : 124.5
Width (cm) : 167.1

Further information :
Thomas Jones Barker (1813 - 1882) came from a local family of artists. There are pictures by his father and brothers in the collection. Unlike the rest of his family, he did not stay in Bath but had a successful career working in London and Paris.

His picture of Queen Victoria presenting a Bible to an African prince is now in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

‘The Bride of Death’ was painted for the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. It is Barker’s most famous painting, and he won prizes and medals for it in France.

The picture tells a sad story. It is inspired by a ballad about the death of a young woman on the day before her wedding. Many of the objects in the picture have been chosen for their symbolic meanings. The hourglass beside the bed shows the passing of time and the shortness of life. The violets in the woman’s hand mean sadness, and her white clothes and pearls emphasise her purity.

The painting was given to the Gallery by Cedric Chivers.

Indexing terms :

Keyword : British painting

Keyword : Victorian period (1837-1901)

Keyword : Oil painting

Location status : On display