A finely painted work on canvas, 16" by 20", unframed, signed at lower left and dated there "60" or "69" by the Scottish-born artist who worked much of his life in England, JOHN PETTIE (1839-1893). The scene is a lavishly appointed bedroom chamber fit for a castle or manor house, a lone female figure at right and her faithful black dog adding an element of interest and mystery. The subdued light in the chamber and another room to the rear is handled masterfully, as are details such as the bed and decorative table cover at left. Pettie was born in Edinburgh and worked much of his life in England. The young artist studied with Robert Scott Lauder, William Quilley Orchardson, J. MacWhirter, William McTaggart, and others. Early on he was a book illustrator. Later, his detailed, technically fine works featured scenes of history and genre, many taken from historical novelist Sir Walter Scott. In the latter period of his life he painted portraits. A member of the Royal Academy by 1866, he was made full academician by 1874. A 1908 book by his nephew describes Pettie's life and career. Today his works are held in major museums of the United Kingdom and Scotland, including the National Gallery of Scotland, Royal Academy, Tate Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and other major institutions. Pettie's paintings are also offered at auctions. The painting has been relined in recent years and there is some inpainting of a disturbed, uneven area to the right of the figure (possibly extending into the body area). You could have this re-worked or hang as-is in a wide bright gold frame which would really enhance the presentation.
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