One of the few known easel paintings by the artist who studied at Birmingham School of Art. The model may have been her sister, Myra, who designed beaten metalwork including the frames for some of Bunce's paintings.The young woman playing a lute, framed by apple blossom, is facing an open window visible in the mirror behind her. The mirror frame is inscribed 'MUSICA' in the top left corner. She appears to be in a small private chapel with an image of the Virgin depicted in the stained glass, a crucifix and walls decorated with angels. Her necklace of gold set with pearls is a symbol of purity. The format of the composition, the use of ornate detail, the sensuous textures and the musical subject echoes Rossetti's female icons particularly the 'Blue Bower' (1865).

  • Presented by Sir John Holder, Bt., 1897.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Kate Elizabeth Bunce -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Initials bottom left - - Initials in monogram.
Rowney / 1884
Company name - - - Inscription on canvas.


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Oil Paintings lent by the Corp[oration of Birmingham
28 Bradford, Cartwright Memorial Hall 1910 - 1910
86 Birmingham Art Circle 1928 - 1928
The Last Romantics - The Romantic Tradition in British Art
71 Barbican Art Gallery, London 1989 - 1989
The Birmingham School
50 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1990-07-28 - 1990-10-14
Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists
72 Manchester City Art Gallery 1997-11-15 - 1998-02-01
72 Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery 1998-02-00 - 1998-04-00
The Blue Bower: Rossetti in the 1860s
26 Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham 2000-10-27 - 2001-01-14
The Pre-Raphaelites
204 Nationalmuseum, Stockholm 2009-02-26 - 2009-05-24


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
The Last Romantics - The Romantic Tradition in British Art
Peter Fuller 1989 Barbican Art Gallery, London pl.71
Women Artists and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement
Jan Marsh, Pamela Gerrish Nunn 1989 Virago, London pp.123-4
The Birmingham School
Stephen Wildman 1990 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery pl.50
Pre-Raphaelite Women Artists
Jan Marsh, Pamela Gerrish Nunn 1997 Thames and Hudson, London p.14, pl.72
Birmingham Historian No 14
Christina Bostock 1997 - pp.13-16
The Blue Bower: Rossetti in the 1860s
Paul Spencer-Longhurst 2000 Scala Publishers, London p.87, pl.26
The Pre-Raphaelites
2009 Nationalmuseum, Stockholm cat.204,p.234; fig.56

Associated people

Name Type
Myra Louisa Bunce Depicted

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