( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Pausias, an eminent painter who flourished nearly coeval with Polygnotus, lived and worked in Sicyon, the capital of the most ancient kingdom of Greece, several hundred years before our era. He is said to have become enamored of Glycera, a beautiful maiden of Sicyon, while painting a picture of her occupied in making garlands of flowers :
. herself a fairer flower."
Human nature being always the same, it is not strange that, from the time of Pausias to our own day, instances of artists who fell in love with their fair sitters should be far from uncommon.
We are told that Filippo Lippi, the Florentine painter, while at work in the convent of Sta. Margharita at Prato, conceived an ardent passion for a young novice, Lucrezia Buti, whose fair features were serving him as a model for the face of a Madonna he was limning, and carried her off with him.
A still greater artist, — one of the most illustrious, indeed, of all, — Leonardo da Vinci, is credited by some historians of art with a deep and lasting love for Monna Lisa, the beautiful Florentine, whose marvellous portrait (painted for the lady's husband, but never delivered to him) enriches the Louvre. It is certain that Leonardo, like Michael Angelo, never married. Was it because the woman he adored was wedded to another ?
Passing from the time of the Renaissance to our own day, we are reminded of the painter-poet, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. In 1851 he became acquainted with a beautiful girl, Miss Elizabeth Siddall, who was after-ward the model for some of his most famous pictures, and whose type of face he never ceased to reproduce. The painter and his model became engaged, and, in 1860, were married, but their life together was destined to be brief, as Mrs. Rossetti died early in 1862, and her grief-stricken husband buried his unpublished poems in her grave.