Louis Edouard Fournier: the funeral of Shelley

Louis Edouard Fournier, The Funeral of Shelley, 1889. Oil on canvas, 129.5 x 213.4cm. The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned in 1822 when his yacht was wrecked in a storm in the Gulf of Spezzia, Italy. His body was cremated and his remains later buried at the Protestant cemetery in Rome.  He is watched over here by Trelawny, Leigh Hunt and Byron.  He was 29; Keats had died the previous year, Byron two years later: the Romantic triumvirate, their recklessness with life and limb echoed in the romance we still attach to Kurt Cobain – the dead boy.  Romance is all in the perception of death, not the reality.


an interesting read: Richard Holmes on the mythologising of Shelley's death, part of the National Portrait Gallery's Interrupted Lives lecture series in 2004.

Stephanie Whiteculture, water