Sir James Jebusa Shannon (1862-1933)

Artist Name Sir James Jebusa Shannon (1862-1933)
Title Portrait of Kitty and the Silver Ship
Description This stunning, large British Edwardian Impressionist portrait oil painting is by noted portrait painter James Jebusa Shannon. Painted circa 1909 the sitter is his eldest daughter, Kitty. She is holding a family heirloom, the silver ship which has been depicted in several of shannon's works. The painting of his daughter, just on the cusp of entering womanhood, was dear to the artist and stayed within the family long after his death. The vibrant reds and bold brushwork, so unmistakable Shannon, make this an excellent example of a very personal and precious Edwardian family portrait oil painting
Provenance Provenance. The Artist.
      Lady Florence Shannon.
      By descent to Kitty Shannon Keigwin, the Artist's daughter.
      By descent to Julia Gibbons, the Artist's granddaughter.
      Estate of Julia Gibbons to the present owner.

Exhibited. "Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon," Debra Force Fine Art Inc., New York; New York, 2014.

Literature. New York, Debra Force Fine Art, Seeking Beauty: Paintings by James Jebusa Shannon, 2014, pp. 38-9, no. 11, illustrated.

Note. The present portrait depicts the artist's eldest daughter, Kitty (1887-1974) holding a silver ship, which can also be spotted in other contemporary works by the artist such as The Silver Ship (circa 1907, formerly in the Forbes Collection of Victorian Pictures) and Flora and the Silver Ship (1922, unlocated), which features the artist's niece, Flora Cartwright. Unlike the other two works, Kitty and the Silver Ship was never exhibited and remained close to the artist (in fact, it stayed in the family for a long time after his death) as a personal memento of the artist's first daughter holding an important family heirloom. The object was so meaningful that Kitty would pose again next to it in a highly dramatic photograph of 1933, in which the silver ship casts its imposing shadow on the background wall. Just as in the photograph, Kitty appears slightly absent and detached in the portrait. As Debra Force notes: "she glances out of the pictorial space with a look of youthful solemnity, an expression that imbues the image with a sense of nostalgia, as if this were Shannon's farewell to the child as she entered womanhood." Shannon would go on to produce one last portrait of his daughter the following year, Black and Silver, now at the Royal Academy.
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 35 x 45 inches
Frame Housed In an original 17th Century Italian carved giltwood frame., 52 inches by 42 inches and in good condition.
Condition Good condition.
Biography Sir James Jebusa Shannon RA (1862–1923) was an Anglo-American artist. Shannon was born in Auburn, New York, and at the age of eight was taken by his parents to Canada. When he was sixteen, he went to England, where he studied at South Kensington, and after three years won the gold medal for figure painting. His portrait of the Hon. Horatia Stopford, one of the queen's maids of honour, attracted attention at the Royal Academy in 1881, and in 1887 his portrait of Henry Vigne in hunting costume was one of the successes of the exhibition, subsequently securing medals for the artist at Paris, Berlin, and Vienna. He soon became one of the leading portrait painters in London. He was one of the first members of the New English Art Club, a founder member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and in 1897 was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, and RA in 1909. His picture, "The Flower Girl", was bought in 1901 for the national collection at Tate. Shannon has paintings in the collection of a several British institutions including Sheffield, Derby Art Gallery, Glasgow Museum and Bradford Museum.
Price £60,000
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