A full portrait of Oscar Wilde, which was originally painted as a wedding gift regarding condemned marriage to Constance, will officially be displayed in UK’s exhibition.
The portrait has remained in Los Angeles ever since the 1920s, according to Tate Britain, and this portrait will serve as its own legendary display in the show ‘Queer British Art 1861-1967.’
About the Portrait
The portrait stands at 1.85 meters, and it illustrates Wilde as he was entering his crossover to success, at the age of 27.
Clare Barlow, the warden of the exhibition described Wilde’s face in the painting as displaying a firm stance of confidence, and it portrays a more unique image of him, compared to what people are more accustomed to.
Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington, an artist from the United States painted this fabled portrait back in 1884 as simply a gift to Wilde and his wife Constance. Wilde was delighted with this portrait and kept it above the fireplace at his home.
In April 1895, the father of the person Wilde had been having an affair with, Lord Alfred Douglas, indicted Wilde of being a sodomite, leading Wilde to sue him, which ultimately resulted to dreadful consequences, landing him in prison, performing harsh labor, and earning him a death before his time.
Evidence was displayed towards the case in which it revealed that Wilde has been sexually involved with other males, which ended the trial.
Whilst waiting for the trial to begin, Wilde had been pronounced officially as bankrupt, which resulted in all his possessions, including the portrait as well had to be sold in order to take care of any pending debts.
The portrait on the other hand was purchased at an auction by Wilde’s companions Ernest and Ada Leverson.
The portrait ended up landing at Wilde’s former lover’s houses, which eventually lead it to being sold to an American collector of antiques. The portrait is said to be exhibited just outside Wilde’s prison cell.