This drawing belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Alexander Munro, with whom Hughes shared a studio in London from 1852 to 1858.Hughes originally planned 'The Long Engagement' as a scene from 'As you like It'. Dissatisfied with the single figure of Orlando and with the Shakespearian subject, Hughes abandoned the idea and devised a two-figure composition of 'modern lovers'. In this study the young man can just be seen emerging from the shadow of the tree. This sketch also reveals that Hughes had initially thought of using a different pose for the figure of the young woman. Here, she is shown overcome with emotion, her head hung down and her left hand touching her throat. In the final painting she looks up at her lover clutching his hand between hers. Leonard Roberts suggests that the sketch on the verso of a woman reclining on a sofa 'almost certainly [depicts] Christina Rossetti' ('Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works,' p. 128).

  • Presented by Charles Alexander Munro, 1959.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Arthur Hughes -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
- - - -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
Pre-Raphaelite Women
11 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1985-10-09 - 1986-01-02
11 Stoke-on-Trent Museum & Art Gallery 1986-09-13 - 1986-10-19
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection
49 Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington 1995-03-09 - 1995-05-07
49 Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio 1995-05-27 - 1995-07-16
49 Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware 1995-08-11 - 1995-10-15
49 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas 1995-11-04 - 1996-01-02
49 High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia 1996-01-03 - 1996-04-10
49 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1996-05-25 - 1996-09-29


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
The Pre-Raphaelites
1984 Tate Gallery cat. 95
Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection
Stephen Wildman 1995 Arts Services International, Alexandria, Virginia p. 178, pl. 49
Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works
Leonard Roberts 1997 Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge No. 15.6, p. 128; repr. p. 128


Alexander Munro; by descent to his son John Arthur Ruskin Munro; thence in 1944 to his widow Mrs Margaret Caroline Neaves Munro; gifted by her (in Charles Alexander Munro's name) in May 1959.

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