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‘Feathered Friends’’
Oil on canvas 44″ x 27″

British fl.1879-1896

This thoroughly charming painting combines some favourite Victorian themes: childhood, animals and humour. The old joke (dating back at least to the sixteenth century) goes ‘You can catch a bird by putting salt on its tale’. It was a myth commonly told to children, and many of whom must have had a great deal of fun just trying to catch one.

In Davidson Knowles painting, Feathered Friends, the young girl appears to have attracted a number of birds, and doubtless the one having its tail salted will soon be ensconced in the cage under her arm.

This really is an excellent example of Knowles’ work, displaying the artist’s fine sense of composition and colour. The painting has a beautiful luminosity to it. Knowles was a London painter of genre, animals and landscapes, and he had a particular talent for depicting children with great sentimentality – large eyed and rosy cheeked. He was a member of the Society of British Artists and exhibited at the Royal Academy and in Suffolk Street from 1879 to 1896.

© Sutcliffe Galleries 2012


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