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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, May 16, 2016

"baba and billy"

thanks the-athenaeum.org. (PD:US)
1920: John McKirdy Duncan (Scottish; 1866-1945) paints his daughter Vivian (whom I'm thinking is Baba) and her distracted cat (whom I'm betting is Billy).  When I first saw this odd and enchanting portrait, I thought "Here's another Symbolist I haven't seen."  I was partially correct.  There's a PreRaphaelite feel to the color and careful delineation of the main figures, but as a whole his subject matter is placed under a style I had not even known about: Celtic Revival.  I don't see any overtly Celtic symbolism here, only a lively little girl with a sure hand for her equally lively cat.  Here's an interesting thing:  this child who so confidently manages her pet grew up to become a doctor.  Did Duncan see that confidence in her at this age?  He certainly saw the match of high spirits between his blonde child and her elegant dark pet.
Here's a slideshow of Duncan works on YouTube (I couldn't resist giving you the chance to see this).  And here is a roughly translated page which contains by far the most I have found on his life and work.

1 comment:

parlance said...

Not many women got to be doctors at that time. She must indeed have been special.