Group of Knights Quest for the Holy Grail European Tapestry
Love and the Maiden - Stanhope is a Belgian made jacquard wall tapestry. The original work is a tempera on canvas by English Pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, 1877. It is considered his masterpiece and is currently housed at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
The painting depicts an encounter between Cupid or Eros, the god of love, and an anonymous maiden. Cupid holds his familiar bow in his left hand, while in his right hand he holds a stalk of pink flowers, either presenting them to the maiden or bending them back so that he can approach her. The maiden looks back at him with a slightly nervous expression, while also raising one hand in a gesture which may indicate hesitation. The title of the painting casts Cupid/Eros in his traditional role as the personification of love. Thus, we can read this painting as an allegorical representation of a young virgin's first encounter with love. The maiden's nervous gestures suggest her apprehensive reaction to this life-changing moment. In the background four other maidens appear, engaged in a dance. By setting these maidens apart from the single maiden in the foreground, Stanhope contrasts their carefree, innocent unconcern with the maiden's anxiety and impending maturity.
This lovely piece grants your surroundings a surreal imagery.