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From Caledonia to the Continent

John Phillip (1817-67)

The Dying Contrabandista Signed and dated 1858

Oil on canvas | 132.1 x 203.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 404562

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At this date Spain was a fashionable source for stories of love and death, Bizet’s Carmen being a famous example. Here a wounded smuggler dies in the arms of his beloved, whilst clutching a Rosary. The young woman holds a mirror to his lips to see if he is still breathing. Two of their companions keep guard.

Signed and dated: JP [in monogram] 1858