Kate Elizabeth Bunce
Kate Elizabeth Bunce (1856-1927) was an English painter and poet associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Bunce studied at the Birmingham School of Art in the 1880s and exhibited across the U.K. A devout Christian, she painted a series of decorative pieces in churches, often in conjunction with her sister, a metalworker and watercolourist. The key figures in The Keepsake were modelled after Bunce’s friends, Margaret Lousia Write (left), Ethel Newill (center left), and Katie Palmer (center right).
The painting is based on a poem by Rossetti and was shown along with an excerpt:
“Then stepped a damsel to her side, And spoke and needs must weep: ‘For his sake, lady, if he died, He prayed of thee to keep This staff and scrip’.”