Leighton, Edmund Blair R.O.I.
Europe, United Kingdom, England
First floor: Victorian
Oil paint on canvas
86.1 x 49.4 cm
Edmund Blair Leighton 1853 - 1922
Oil on canvas
Adieu is French for goodbye.
It is much more final than au revoir,
which conveys the idea of 'until I see you again'.
It is interesting to consider the painting
in the context of the end of the Victorian age
when accepted roles for women were changing.
The man is about to fulfil his duty to his country
but the woman is perhaps reluctant to wait for him.
Nevertheless, Blair Leighton's focus
on the satin of the beautiful pink dress
still emphasises woman's role as decorative object.
In 1902 a 'premium print' of Adieu was given away
to subscribers of the magazine, The Art Journal.
James Blair Bequest 1917.193