The Last Parting of Helga and Gunnlaug
Date: c. 1880-1885
Medium: Oil on board
Dimensions: 11 1/2 × 26 1/8 in. (29.2 × 66.4 cm) frame: 18 1/2 × 33 in. (47 × 83.8 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
Object Number: 1935-17
About: The subject of this painting is an Icelandic tale of two star-crossed lovers. Despite her love for Gunnlaug, Helga is forced to marry another. The two male suitors engage in a bloody fight that ends in both their deaths. Charles Fairfax Murray was a studio assistant to both Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. He worked for Morris and Company, painting stained glass and illuminating manuscripts. Later in life he spent much of his time in Italy and became an expert on Italian Renaissance art, facilitating acquisitions for many museums, including the National Gallery in London and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
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