About this artwork
Constant Mayer specialized in sentimental scenes of everyday life yet he also displayed a fidelity to nature that harmonized with the detailed landscapes painted by contemporary artists known as the Pre-Raphaelites. The young woman’s black dress, solemn disposition, and wedding ring signal a state of mourning. A church steeple in the background symbolizes her faith and purity, while the vegetation and stonework in the foreground suggest that she stands near her loved one’s grave. The golden lighting, low vantage point, and the figure’s windblown hair contribute to the air of introspection. Executed just after the Civil War, Love’s Melancholy resonated with the American public, who likely came to know the painting through a color reproduction that was produced and distributed by 1869.
- Constant Mayer
- Love's Melancholy
- United States
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower right: "Constant Mayer / 1866"
- 51.4 × 35.6 cm (20 1/4 × 14 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Herbert A. Vance