The Proposal (The Marquis and Griselda)

Frederic George Stephens (1827–1907)

c. 1850

Oil on panel

Support: 806 x 648 mm; frame: 1020 x 855 x 100 mm

Courtesy Tate Britain N04633. Bequeathed by H.F. Stephens 1932

This is a scene from “The Clerk’s Tale,” one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s fourteenth-century Canterbury Tales. The marquis of Saluzzo has fallen in love with a poor but beautiful peasant girl, Griselda, and is proposing marriage to her. He goes on to subject her to a series of appalling trials to test her love. But Griselda is patient and eventually wins his devotion. [continued below].

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