The Doll

by James Jebusa Shannon (1862–1923)
Oil on canvas
30 x 24⅛ inches
Initialed lower right: J - J - S

Information

Provenance

The artist

Lady Florence Shannon, wife of the artist

Kitty Shannon Keigwin, daughter of the artist

Julia Gibbins, granddaughter of the artist

Estate of above

Private collection, New York, New York, acquired from above

Exhibited

Fine Art Society, London, England, 1896

Leicester Galleries, London, England, Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by the Late Sir James J. Shannon, R. A., June–July, 1923, no. 15 (as Kitty in Fancy Dress)

Debra Force Fine Art, Inc., New York, New York, Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon, May 1–June 30, 2014, cat. 5

Literature

Catalogue of an Exhibition of Paintings by the Late Sir James J. Shannon, R. A. (London: Leicester Galleries, 1923), no. 15 (as Kitty in Fancy Dress).

Alfred Lys Baldry, “J. J. Shannon, Painter,” Magazine of Art 20 (November 1896): 1–5, no. 4.

“Art Exhibitions,” Times (London), June 20, 1896, 19.

“A Noted Portrait Painter, Death of Sir J. J. Shannon, R. A.,” Times (London), March 3, 1923.

“Art Exhibitions. The Late Sir J. J. Shannon’s Paintings,” Morning Post, June 19, 1923.

Barbara Dayer Gallati, Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon (New York: Debra Force Fine Art, Inc., 2014), 22–23, cat. 5.

Related Works 

Miss Kitty, 1897, oil on canvas, 66 x 38½ inches; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mother and Child (Lady Shannon and Kitty), ca. 1900–1910, oil on canvas, 46¼ x 38⅞ inches; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC

Note: This work depicts the artist’s only child, Kitty. Critics in the mid-1890s felt that Shannon may have been inspired by the art of Spanish baroque painter Diego Velázquez (1599–1660), especially in the style of the sitter’s clothing, which evokes Velázquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas, 1656 (Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain). Critic Alfred Lys Baldry wrote, “The arrangement of the faded pinks, the silvery greys and ashy blacks of Mr. Shannon’s picture was certainly reminiscent of the great Spanish artist’s method.”[1] By showing his playful daughter in a style befitting Spanish royalty, Kitty resembles a modern princess.

[1] Alfred Lys Baldry, “J. J. Shannon, Painter,” Magazine of Art 20 (November 1896): 5.

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