Albert Pinkham Ryder painted several images based on plays by William Shakespeare. His favorite play was The Winter’s Tale, and this small image shows the characters Prince Florizel and the shepherd girl Perdita, who he was forbidden to marry. They discovered that Perdita was actually the banished daughter of a king, however, and the lovers were reunited. Ryder never married and constantly mourned the absence of love in his life. He may have been comparing himself to Prince Florizel and hoping that he, too, would fall in love with a “princess.”
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.