Pascal
The funeral of Shelley, by Louis Édouard Fournier
1889, 130 x 213 cm


      Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Romantic poet, drowned on 08 July 1822. His yacht was wrecked in a storm in the Gulf of Spezzia, Italy. After his body washed ashore, it was, on 16 August 1822, cremated as required by Italian law. Fournier's painting shows the funeral pyre surrounded by three of the dead poet's closest friends. From left to right they are the author and adventurer Trelawney, Leigh Hunt and Shelley's fellow poet Lord Byron.
      In Trelawney's own account of the event, Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron, he described the hot August day on which the funeral took place. Fournier chose to ignore this aspect of the description. Instead he depicted the weather as grey and cold to accentuate the sombre and dramatic mood of the piece.
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