“Evangeline Discovering Her Affianced in the Hospital” by Samuel Richards
Near the end of the 1800’s, American artist Samuel Richards completed work on what is perhaps his best known painting, “Evangeline Discovering Her Affianced in the Hospital”. It portrays a pivotal scene from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem, “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”. In the poem, Evangeline and Gabriel are two lovers whose betrothal is cut short when the British deport the Acadians from Acadia (Evangeline being Acadian). For the rest of the poem, the two fight time and distance to try and find their way back to each other. They are reunited eventually, but as the painting shows, the reunion does not necessarily happen under the happiest of circumstances. There is an almost meditative sadness to Richards’ work that matches the tone of the poem perfectly. With this painting, Richards shows true understanding of the emotional core of the poem.
If you’re interested in reading Longfellow’s poem click here.
If you’re interested in reading more about Samuel Richards, and the creation of this painting, click here.