Francis Danby (1793–1861)
The Procession of Cristna
Watercolor and gouache, heightened with white gouache, with gum arabic, some scratching out, on paper
7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (190 x 266 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund; 2001.18.
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In the summer of 1825, Danby traveled through the
mountains of Norway and sketched the terrain.
Afterward he remarked, "These kind of scenes are
better in pictures than reality, and faith I own I was
heartily sick of them." Nevertheless the Norwegian
landscape haunted him for years, informing a number
of later works, including the present drawing. This
sublime fantasy has been speculatively named for
Cristna, a lost poem by Danby that he referred to as
"no more than a romance." Lacking an extant narrative,
the interpretation remains mysterious: Nordic rocks
loom over an exotic caravan, dwarfing elephants
and a faceless throng of travelers.
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