200 years ago Keats saw Christ’s Entry into Jeruslaem

Benjamin Robert Haydon: Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem (exhibited 1820)





On Saturday 25 March 1820 Keats took a coach from Hampstead to Piccadilly and The Egyptian Hall, to attend a private view of Benjamin Robert Haydon’s enormous painting Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem. Keats appears as one of the figures between the trees on the right-hand side of the picture. Wordsworth (dressed in black) has his head bowed and holds his right hand across his chest; Keats is directly above him. Christ (who looks uncannily like Haydon) appears to be gesturing towards Keats.
In December 1816 Haydon had made life masks (plaster casts) of the faces of both Wordsworth and Keats for use in the painting. The years during which he worked on it match almost all of Keats’s career as a poet.

[Oil on canvas, 396 x 457 cm, located at Mount St Mary’s Seminary, Cincinnati

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