July 24th, 2008

The apotheosis of Penelope Boothby

This curious painting by Henry Fuseli, dating from 1792, shows Penelope Boothby, the daughter of a Derbyshire landowner, Sir Brooke Boothby, being carried up to heaven by an angel. Sir Brooke (1744-1824) was a poet and aesthete, and an ardent disciple of Rousseau; he is perhaps best remembered now for this striking portrait of him by Joseph Wright of Derby, which shows him reclining in a glade with a volume of Rousseau:

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