Yet another Robin Hood discovery has recently been reported in the local papers. This time it is an extremely valuable Victorian painting depicting Robin and Maid Marian which was found by a cleaner in the broom cupboard of a Sussex workings men’s club.
The oil-on-canvas painting was discovered during a spring-clean of the 'unnamed' Sussex club and has been estimated by Bonhams auction house to be worth between £5,000 -£7,000. It measures 114.5 x 86.5cm (45 1/16 x 34 1/16in).
In the right hand corner of the painting is the monograph of Thomas Heaphy and the date 1866. Thomas Frank Heaphy was born on 2nd April 1813, son of the first president of the Society of British Artists, also called Thomas (1775-1835). Thomas visited Italy with his father in 1831 and developed an interest in Italian religious paintings and portraiture. He also published eight articles in the ‘Art Journal’ on the ‘origin of the likeness of Christ.’ Between the years 1859-1862 he exhibited a series of portraits of peasant women at the Royal Academy. He died in London on the 7th of August 1873.
This is one of the best 'Robin Hood' paintings I have ever seen. The more you look at it-the more you see. Notice the May blossom, Marian's bare feet and rosy cheeks, Robin's 'cross-bow', the attentive hound, Marian's set of keys and the opened chest filled with treasure. Wonderful!