The subject of this miniature is a character from the Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott’s Elizabethan romance,
It is a copy by Winifred Sandys of a painting by her father, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Frederick. Winifred trained with her father, one of the few pathways to an artistic career for women in the Victorian period.
But why a copy? Copies were quite common and accepted during the nineteenth century ― in fact, Frederick made three versions of this composition himself! While all three of Frederick’s compositions were executed in chalk on paper, Winifred’s watercolor on vellum (animal skin) allows for more detail, particularly as she was a talented miniature painter.