Jungle Tales, James Jebusa Shannon
In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; use the Download or Enlarge links under the image.
American artist James Jebusa Shannon, who spent most of his career in England, here presents an intimate scene of his wife reading to their daughter and one of her friends. “Jungle Tales” likely referred to Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, which had been published in 1894, a year before this was painted.
The wonderfully sensitive rendering of the young girls’ faces is still painterly and soft-edged; the indication of the patterns on the translucent fabrics is composed of single brushstrokes or dots of paint; and hair is presented with just enough suggestion of textural strokes that our eye fills in abundant detail.