Wood engraving by Joseph Swain
6 7/8 x 4 inches
Illustration for The Cornhill Magazine, September 1862, facing p.346.
The illustration depicts the legend of Manoli. Manoli, a master-builder, was told by God in a dream to sanctify his work by sacrificing the first woman he sees; this happens to be his wife, here about to be walled up by the relentless believer. Sandys had a strong interest in grotesque and challenging material and draws a sharp contrast between the terrified expression of the woman and her husband’s slow purposefulness, ignoring her pleas and continuing as if engaged in a routine task. As usual, the drama is heightened by the claustrophobic smallness of the setting, with the characters pressed into a vertical composition which, in its very narrowness, suggests both Manoli’s wife’s terror and the grave-like niche in which she will be incarcerated.
[Click on image to enlarge it, and mouse over text to find links.]
Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.
[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]