Vision of Fiametta - 1878
Oil on canvas
While translating three sonnets by Boccaccio, he came accross Fiametta, the pet name for Boccaccio's love, Maria d'Aquino. Maria d'Aquino died premeturly and in this painting the angel of death is in the background behind Fiametta. Inscribed on the frame:
Behold Fiametta, shown in vision here.
Gloom-girt 'mid Spring-flushed apple-growth she stands;
And as she sways the branches with her hands,
Along her arm the sundered bloom falls sheer,
In separate petals shed, each like a tear;
While from the quivering bough the bird expands
His wings. And lo! thy spirit understands
Life shaken and shower'd and flown, and Death drawn near.
All stirs with charge. Her garments that beat
The angel circling round her aureole
Shimmers in flight against the tree's grey bole:
A pressage and a promise; as 'twere
On Deaths's dark storm the rainbow of the Soul.