'St Ursula receiving the Pope's Benediction' after CarpaccioArtist:
Charles Fairfax Murray
, British, 1849 - 1919
, Venetian, 1460 - 1526
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 458 x 610mm
Support: 314 x 235mm
Accession Number: CGSG00359
Murray copied this detail from a cycle of nine paintings by the artist Carpaccio which tell the story of St Ursula, a Christian princess from Roman times. The detail comes from the sixth painting in the series, in which St Ursula, next to her fiancé, an English prince meet the Pope in Rome. Much of the painting is also filled with a long procession of ladies, who accompany St Ursula on their pilgrimage.
In later years, especially in times of mental illness Ruskin came to link these paintings with Rose LaTouche, the love of his life. Rose died prematurely, possibly of anorexia, and Ruskin found both comfort and grief in the images of Ursula, and looked in them for spiritual messages from Rose. Ruskin also saw St Ursula as a symbol of female purity and beauty and discussed her story in relation to Christian theology.