jebusa-shannon

James Jebusa Shannon

Magnolia

1899

Oil on canvas

181.9 x 99.7 cm

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This painting shows the London-based artist’s daughter holding a sprig of magnolia blossoms, which in Victorian literature were often a sign of a character’s love of nature. The costume and the stylized fleur-de-lis motifs that decorate the green backdrop suggest a somewhat contrived presentation of the girl as a “dress-up” princess. The artist’s only child and one of his favorite models, Kitty Shannon (1887–1974) appears in many of his paintings. She later wrote several books, including an autobiography, published in 1933.

Metmuseum.org