Picture in Focus
Fill in a postcard to let people know or send a message about how you feel about this painting. The picture in Focus is on display until 1st April 2013.
William Shackleton (1872 – 1933)
A Love Lyric (acquired 1913)
Oil on Canvas
William Shackleton was born in Bradford, on 14 January 1872. The son of a paper manufacturer and merchant, William was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Bradford Technical College. He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1893.
In 1896 he won a scholarship from the Royal Academy which took him to the Academie Julian in Paris and then onto Sienna and other places in Italy.
On his return to England, Shackleton settled in Fulham and shared a studio with fellow painters Philip Connard and Oliver Onions in Chelsea. He spent the summer months with Edward Stott in Sussex and exhibited on a regular basis.
Little is known about when or why Shackleton painted this picture but it is thought that he was inspired by a poem by Robert Browning. Browning wrote these lines as a tribute to his late wife who was his muse and inspiration.
From: The Ring and the Book 1868 – 1869
by Robert Browning
O lyric Love, half angel and half bird, And all a wonder and a wild desire-- Boldest of hearts that ever braved the sun, Took sanctuary within the holier blue, And sang a kindred soul out to his face-- Yet human at the red-ripe of the heart-- When the first summons from the darkling earth Reached thee amid thy chambers, blanched their blue, And bared them of the glory--to drop down, To toil for man, to suffer or to die-- This is the same voice; can thy soul know change? Hail then, and hearken from the realms of help! Never may I commence my song, my due To God who best taught song by gift of thee, Except with bent head and beseeching hand-- That still, despite the distance and the dark, What was, again may be; some interchange Of grace, some splendor once thy very thought, Some benediction anciently thy smile: --Never conclude, but raising hand and head. Thither where eyes, that cannot reach, yet yearn For all hope, all sustainment, all reward, Their utmost up and on--so blessing back In those thy realms of help, that heaven thy home, Some whiteness which, I judge, thy face makes proud, Some wanness where, I think, thy foot may fall!
- Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 - Mon, 1 Apr 2013
- Time: -
- Location: Cartwright Hall
- Type: Picture