OIL PAINTING: Paolo and Francesca, 1888
CHARLES Edward Halle's Paolo and Francesca clearly demonstrates how the ideals of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood flowed on into the works of later artists. Despite being only a few months older than the Brotherhood itself, Halle was amongst that school of artistic thinkers who chose to follow the principles and continue the ideals of the young Rossetti, Hunt, Millais and so on.
The theme is taken from the poetry of Dante Alighieri and the story of the forbidden love between Francesca da Rimini and her brother-in-law Paolo. It was a theme that was particularly close to the heart of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who also illustrated this subject, although his watercolour took the form of a triptych illustrating the lover's fate as well as the fateful kiss. Halle's version is more passionate than Rossetti's, showing the lovers' book thrown unnoticed to the floor as Paolo pulls Francesca towards him.
Halle's painting illustrates the link between Pre-Raphaelitism and High Victorian art perfectly. The subject matter is Rossettian, his hero is reminiscent of a Burne-Jones figure and his background is redolent of an Alma-Tadema painting