Marianne Stokes, born Marianne Preindlsberger in Austria, was already an accomplished painter before her marriage to Adrian Scott Stokes. She went on to build her reputation as a significant talent in Victorian England.
Her earlier paintings tend to focus on rustic subject matter and landscapes, but her later work displays the strong influence of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Solomon’s painting of the abduction of Cassandra is unflinching in its depiction of this brutal and sacrilegious crime. Seeking protection in the Temple of Athena during the fall of Troy, Cassandra is ripped from the statue of her protectress and raped in the temple itself. Her terror and desperation – shown through her futile attempt to cling to the statue of Athena – is poignant despite her hidden face. In contrast, Ajax’s countenance reveals no hint of the enormity of his transgression or the vengeance it will unleash.
Kate Bunce, originally associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, later became influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites. Her use of strong color and emphasis on detail, not to mention the Courtney Love Rossetti quote, reveal this influence.