The Dream of Sardanapalus
Medium: Watercolor and gouache on paper
Dimensions: 18 1/2 × 22 in. (47 × 55.9 cm)
frame: 28 × 31 3/4 in. (71.1 × 80.6 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
About: In 1870, Ford Madox Brown contributed illustrations to a collection of Byron’s poems edited by William Michael Rossetti, brother of Dante Gabriel. As was often the case, the illustration was later worked up as an oil painting.
The poem recounts the story of a benign Assyrian king who is wounded during a rebel uprising. Brown depicts the injured king lying within his castle, attended by his faithful slave Myrrha, as the battle rages outside. The palace walls are decorated with scenes Brown copied from Assyrian reliefs recently discovered by archaeologist Austen Henry Layard.
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