de Young & Legion of Honor ART on Demand

John Spencer Stanhope

Love and the Maiden, 1877

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About the Artwork

Acknowledged to be Stanhope’s great masterpiece, Love and the Maiden represents the longings and aspirations of an artistic generation seeking relief from the grim realities of urban life created by the onslaught of the Industrial Revolution. The painting, which debuted in the opening exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877, demonstrates the hallmarks of the Victorian style and utilizes artistic tropes found in antiquity and the Italian Renaissance. This intentionally anachronistic approach is in keeping with the Aesthetic Movement’s goal of relinquishing painting from its descriptive bonds in favor of art for art’s sake.

The painting clearly draws upon the myth of Cupid and Psyche in which the latter awakes from a comatose state after retrieving a casket from the underworld and opening it in direct disobedience to divine decree. In Stanhope’s composition, however, the artist has notably left out any allusion to the casket, and in so doing renders the subject generic. By stripping the painting of these narrative references and generalizing the title, Stanhope hoped to engender a synthesized experience that appealed to all the senses, rather than intellect alone. In this way, Love and the Maiden exemplifies the Aesthetic philosophy that beauty itself is a moral force, and its contemplation a catalyst to improve people and society at large.

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About Our Prints


de Young & Legion of Honor ART on Demand offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections and exhibitions of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Ordering & Return Policy

All ART on Demand items are custom-made for each order. Please allow 10-14 days for production time. You will receive shipping confimation and tracking upon shipment. Due to the custom nature of these items they are non-returnable.