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maria colour.jpg

Maria Foote as Juliet

This piece was created for the 'Mirror Mirror' exhibition held at the magical site of the Gothic Hall at Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire; the home of the late Maria Foote.

She was married to the Fourth Earl of Harrington whose family home was Elvaston Castle. She was an actress who lived in Covent Garden and he decided to 'woo' her by redecorating the castle in her honour (including the Gothic Hall) and landscaping the gardens; and it worked.

The Gothic Hall itself, even though nowadays is in desperate need of restoration, is a stunning setting. Within it are various little monograms with Charles and Maria's initials...with I have included in this piece (top right).

Maria herself stands on the balcony which is a straight copy of the railed balcony from the Moorish temple on the grounds. The window that forms her halo is also taken from the same building. If you look closely at the reflections in the glass you can see various symbols that hint at the fate of the star crossed lovers.

Maria did play Juliet in her debut at Covent Garden in 1810 so it was a fabulous opportunity to create an art nouveau style theatre poster, in a similar vain to those made by Alphonse Mucha for Sarah Bernhardt's plays.

Here is the digitally coloured version of the original illustration which was then printed on velvet and made into a large wall hanging which graced the wall of the Gothic Hall for a week during the exhibition. For the original image please click on the 'Drawings' section to the left.

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