James Smetham (English, 1821–1889)
Oil on canvas
13 x 17 inches
Currently not on view
James Smetham, a Victorian painter and critic, is better remembered for his friendships with such Pre-Raphaelite figureheads as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Ruskin than for the short time in his career when he adopted their artistic ideology into his own aesthetic. The Dream is a good example of Smetham’s take on the Pre-Raphaelite style as it sports many of its characteristic elements, including the arched format, meticulous finish, and moody intensity. The ghostlike figure floating above the dreamy protagonist also introduces a supernatural element, the basis for the painting’s alternate title: A Communication from Beyond the Veil.
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