25 February 2010
The literary characters of Heathcliff and Mr. Rochester are both Byronicheroes. Yorkshire writers Emily (1818 – 1848) and Charlotte Brontë (1816 –1855) were influenced bythe poetry of the English Romantic Lord Byron (1788 –1824). Byron as described by his ex-loverLady Caroline Lamb, was "mad,bad and dangerous to know". Helooks the part of the flawed hero in the moody green portrait by French Romantic Jean-Louis-André Théodore Géricault. The painter merged art with life by dying a slow lingering death from anuntreated riding injury at the age of thirty-two. Géricault was painted by colleague HoraceVernet, the portrait seems to foretell his fate. The German born Fritz Eichenberg(1901–1990) illustrated the haunting Heathcliffunder the Tree for a 1943 edition of WutheringHeights. A brooding Mr. Rochester on horseback is by contemporary Portuguese artist PaulaFigueiroa Rego. Eichenberg who was Jewish escaped from Hitler'sGermany to America and Rego who now lives in England grew up during António de Oliveira Salazar's authoritarian regime. They could both identify with the outcast hero.