The artist has reinterpreted the old idyllic and rather remote image of pastoral or arcadian love as a passionate, sexual embrace. The man clasps the girl to him, grasping her long hair; the girl yields and her dress, disturbingly modern by contrast with the man’s animal skin, comes loose; her portrait-like face looks out at us in coy ecstasy. No wonder this was the favourite picture of D H Lawrence, the great chronicler and advocate of unreasoning passion in human relationships. He copied it three times, once for his fiancée Louie Burrows, and it is discussed at length - and largely from a female point of view - in his novel 'The White Peacock'.


  • Title: An Idyll
  • Creator: Maurice William Greiffenhagen
  • Date Created: 1891
  • tag / style: idyll; pastoral; D H Lawrence; Louie Burrows; The White Peacock; Maurice William Greiffenhagen
  • Physical Dimensions: w800 x h1575 cm (Without frame)
  • Additional artwork information: To learn more about the Walker Art Gallery's 19th-century collections, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/index2.aspx
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Purchased from the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition in 1891

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