Valentine Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904) was a British painter of the Pre-Raphaelite school. He is often known as Val Prinsep. He was born in Calcutta and his mother, Sarah Monckton Pattle, was the sister of pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The family later moved to London and settled at Little Holland House, which became a centre of artistic society, their home was one of the most lively artistic 'salons' of the period, frequented by many of the political, scientific and artistic celebrities of the day. Prinsep was a friend of both G.F.Watts, and also John Everett Millais and Edward Burne-Jones, with whom he travelled to Italy. He also had a share with Rossetti and others in the decoration of the hall of the Oxford Union.
In The Mandolin Player, the ebony chair was almost certainly a souvenir from Prinsep's time in India; he went there in 1876 to paint a large portrait group of the Imperial Durbar at Delhi. The eclectic mix of blue-and-white china, golden painted walls and exotic furniture exemplify the decorative tastes of the Aesthetic Movement of the 1870s, led by Rossetti, Whistler, Moore and Walter Crane. The theme of female musicians practicing in exotic interiors was a favourite subject for all of the members of the Aesthetic Movement and it is easy to bring to mind similar paintings by Rossetti and Simeon Solomon.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-438: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)