EDWARD ATKINSON HORNEL (1864 - 1933) THE GOAT HERD oil on canvas, signed and dated - 96 (lower right) 61cm x 50.8cm (24 x 20 inches) Framed. Provenance: Acquired Christie's Scottish Sale 28th October 1999 lot 152 for £34500 (premium). Morison McClelerly & Co., 29th June 1959, (to J.F. Christie). Note: In 1893 Hornel and George Henry set off for Japan, financed by the Glasgow dealer Alex Reid and William Burrell, a patron of the arts. Hornel produced some of his finest paintings during this period and returned to paint the Galloway woods around his home in Kirkcudbright. Hornel was gradually moving away from naturalistic subjects, which continued to inspire other members of the Glasgow Boys, towards symbolic and allegorical subjects such as the seasons, Celtic myths and stories involving wood spirits and rural genies. Hornel became fascinated by these stories and particularly those relating to the goat. The goat is a recurring theme in his work and, as in the present painting, the goat often appears accompanied by a young keeper, as a symbol of fertility. The present work is dated 1896 and was painted shortly after Hornel and Henry's return from Japan. The bright colours and composition reveal the influences of his Japanese paintings.
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