James Eckford Lauder, RSA
scene from La Duenna
Exhibited at The Royal Scottish Academy, 1850 no.114.
Oil on Panel
Measuring 19 inches by 13.5 inches / 25 inches by 19.5 inches framed
signed and titled on reverse "No.1 / The Jewel-Casket / Jas.Eckford Lauder"
In original 19th century carved giltwood Aitken & Dott exhibition frame
Exhibited at The Royal Scottish Academy 1850, titled "The Jewel-Casket" no.114.
The Scottish Academician James Eckford Lauder depicts Donna Louisa - the main character of the English comic-opera La Duenna - opening her Jewel-Casket to reveal a ruby-encrusted necklace. Lauder executed this work with a jewel-like glow and precision which was noted at its exhibition at The Royal Scottish Academy of 1850. A companion work to this painting held in The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, The National Trust UK, entitled "La Duenna" also depicts Donna Louisa - the main character of the famous English comic-opera La Duenna - in the same costume as the present work, and shows the same Jewel-Casket and ruby necklace as in the present work.
La Duenna was widely acclaimed as the most successful opera ever staged in England. It was composed by Thomas Linley the elder, and was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre in 1775. Lord Byron called it "the best opera ever written".