The subject comes from Dante's 'Inferno'(V, 122-3). Francesca, engaged to be married against her will, falls in love with her fiance's younger brother Paola. When this is discovered, they are murdered. The sculpture shows the moment when, reading of the love of Lancelot for Guinevere, they are drawn to their first kiss.The plaster model for this sculpture was shown in the 1851 Great Exhibition (Sculpture Court no41). This marble version was commissioned by William Gladstone (1809-98), later Prime Minster. Munro gave a plaster cast of this work to Dante Gabriel Rossett. The subject relates to a series of drawings done by Rossetti that year. A plaster version is in the collection of Wallington House, Northumberland.

  • Purchased, 1960.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Sculptor Alexander Munro -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
Alex. Munro/ Sc. 1852/ Quel giorno piu non vi leggemmo avante [That day we read no more]
- base - -


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
1340 Royal Academy of Arts 1852 - 1852
Art Treasures of the United Kingdom
54 Manchester 1857-05-05 - 1857-10-17
Royal Academy of Arts Bicentenary Exhibition 1768-1968
406 Royal Academy, London 1968-12-14 - 1969-03-02
The Pre-Raphaelites
44 Tate Gallery, London 1984-03-07 - 1984-05-28
Pre-Raphaelite Sculpture, Nature and Imagination in British Sculpture 1848-1914
21 Mattieson Gallery, London 1991-10-31 - 1991-12-12
21 Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery 1992 - 1992
Art Treasures in Manchester, 150 Years On
no cat. no Manchester Art Gallery 2007-10-06 - 2008-01-27


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
London Illustrated News
1851 - plaster illus.
1852 Spectator p. 593
Burlington Magazine, Victorian Art. Painting, Furniture, Sculpture, 'Alexander Munro's Paolo and Franceca
J Gere Nov.1963 The Burlington Magazine Publications, Ltd. Vol. 105, No. 728, pp. 509-510
Sculpture, 19th & 20th Centuries, A History of Western Sculpture
1967 Greenwich, New York Graphic Society pl.68
Sculpture in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - a summary catalogue
1987 Sculpture in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - a summary catalogue Birmingham, Birmingham Museums no.214, cover ill.
Medievalism: the Middle Ages in Modern England
Michael Alexander 2007 New Haven; London, Yale University Press p.146


Hon William Gladstone, 1852

Associated people

Name Type
Dante Author

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