Reading Kipling’s Jungle Book?
Shannon studied in London during the 1880s and remained there, enjoying success as a society portraitist and figure painter. (In 1922 he renounced his United States citizenship in order to accept a knighthood.) “Jungle Tales” portrays the artist’s wife reading to their daughter, Kitty, shown in profile, and another child. The painting’s title and date and its London origin suggest that the little group is captivated by Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, which had appeared in 1894. The intensely realistic faces contrast with the decorative patterns of the dotted muslin and lace costumes and the elaborate design on the brilliant blue backdrop. Quote from The Met
Who Is James Jebusa Shannon?
James Jebusa Shannon was born in the United States and moved to England in 1878 where he trained at South Kensington. Notably, he renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1922 to accept a knighthood. (!?)
According to ArtUK,
“Shannon enjoyed early success and, under the influence of Sargent, developed a bravura portrait style which made him one of the most sought after society portraitists of the Edwardian period; elected RA (1909), and President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (1910–1923)”
Details for “Jungle Tales”
- Artist: James Jebusa Shannon (1862–1923)
- Date: 1895
- Culture: American
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 34 1/4 x 44 3/4 in. (87 x 113.7 cm)
- Classification: Paintings
- Credit Line: Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1913