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Child-life in Art

Estelle M. Hurll

Book Overview: 

The poetry of childhood is full of attractiveness to the artist, and many and varied are the forms in which he interprets it. The Christ-child has been his highest ideal. All that human imagination could conceive of innocence and purity and divine loveliness has been shown forth in the delineation of the Babe of Bethlehem. The influence of such art has made itself felt upon all child pictures. It matters not whether the subject be a prince or a street-waif; the true artist sees in him something which is lovable and winning, and transfers it to his canvas for our lasting pleasure.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The artist’s keen sense of humor is seen again in that most captivating little rogue, Puck. The saucy elf is perched on a mushroom, resting after a frolic, and apparently plotting new escapades.

A complete enumeration and description of Reynolds’s child pictures would fill a bulky volume, so eagerly, through a period of over thirty years, were the great portrait painter’s services demanded by all the distinguished families of the day. Of special interest and beauty are some of the portraits of mothers with their children. The lovely Lady Waldegrave, clasping her babe to her breast, is one of these, while another is the celebrated beauty, the Duchess of Devonshire, playing with her infant [Pg 21] daughter. A charming group is Lady Cockburn and her Boys, which has been engraved under the title of the Roman matron Cornelia and her Children. It is said of this splendid production, that when it was brought into the Royal Academy exhibit. . . Read More