This is the first composition in which Robinson moved towards the Arthurian themes
exploited by Rossetti in his watercolours of the same period. He chose a scene from the
recently published Tennyson epic, 'Idylls of the King' - a poem for which Mrs.
Cameron was to provide illustrations some fifteen years ago. Tennyson was
particularly admired by the Pre-Raphaelites for his ability to invest minutely observed
details with a mournful symbolic power.