Sale: Sotheby’s, Gleneagles, August 30, 1983, lot 856, illustrated Sale: Sotheby’s, Gleneagles, September 1, 1992, lot 958, illustrated Acquired at the above sale
Edinburgh, Royal Scottish Academy, 1904, no. 159
This charming and imaginative scene of a wandering girl’s meeting with a gnome reflects the insatiable Victorian appetite for storytelling and depictions of fairies and other mythical beasts in popular culture. Thomas Bromley Blacklock was trained in Edinburgh but returned to his hometown of Kirkcudbright, which lies on the south west coast of Scotland, where the artist "developed into a painter of fairy-tales. He painted pleasant tender fancies expressed with a daintiness of colour and design and an ingenuity and quaintness in costume and accessory" (Peter J. M. McEwan, Dictionary of Scottish Art & Architecture, Suffolk, 1994, p. 77). The present work may be inspired by local Galloway folklore as well as the work of Scottish colorist and member of the Glasgow Boys E. A. Hornel (1864-1933), who led the Kirkcudbright Artists’ Colony, an answer to England’s St. Ives School, which flourished into the mid-twentieth Century.
Lined. The surface presents very well. There are a few faint areas of widely patterned craquelure, a small area of bumping and pulling of the canvas at the upper left edge, and minor frame abrasion. Under UV: there are two small dots of repair to the left of the girl's blue cloak just above the stream. There is scattered fluorescence in the costumes of the two figures and in the background, which are from the artist's hand. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.