Sigh no more

Sigh no more

Paul Woodroffe

Photomechanical reproduction of pen and ink drawing.

5½ x 4 inches

Songs from the Plays of Shakespeare , facing p. 20.

Woodroffe’s interpretation of Balthasar’s song in Much Ado About Nothing. The ladies are Rossettian beauties and the sighing is accompanied by the melancholy notes of a lute. The treatment of the faces and hands is derived from Rossetti’s paintings of Jane Morris in the seventies, and the oppressive atmosphere is completed by the congested rose-vine that encloses it. Essentially a series of enclosures within enclosures, the image stresses the contrast between the venturing openness of men, ‘one foot in sea and one on shore’, and women’s traditional passivity and inertness.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

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