Love among the Ruins

We have received the following query; please comment below if you are able to help.

“I am a volunteer at Wightwick Manor in Wolverhampton and I am doing some research on “Love Among the Ruins”

We have the oil on canvas, painted by Burne-Jones in 1894. I have a query about the female model. Some sources say that he didnt’ use Maria Zambaco for this work, using instead Bessie Keene. Could you help me to clarify this please?”

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Love among the Ruins

  1. Elisa Korb

    My PhD was on Maria Zambaco, and I extensively discussed Love among the Ruins. Zambaco was the model for the 1873 version, which is in the collection of the Marquess of Normanby. The face had been ruined and was later repaired, but it definitely her image.

    The Wightwick Manor version is indeed Bessie Keene. So, there are two totally different paintings. If you’d like more info and citations, my thesis is in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham.

  2. Henry Sire

    Could I divert this discussion into a more personal channel? Bessie Keene was a cousin of my great-grandmother, Adelaide Keene. How could I find out more details of Bessie’s life?

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