Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: James Jebusa Shannon’s Jungle Tales

Jungle Tales, James Jebusa Shannon, oil on canvas
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.

Jungle Tales, Met Museum


3 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: James Jebusa Shannon’s Jungle Tales

  1. What a lovely, sweet little painting. Thanks for the treat!

  2. karola gray Avatar
    karola gray

    This has been our family favorite since first finding it on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was reproduced as a poster at the Met Shop. The parent-child relationship and the reading/literature theme makes it a timeless subject. Mothers, children, teachers all find this painting at once exquisitely beautiful, endearing and inspiring.

    1. Thanks, karola. I see what you mean about the multi-faceted appeal of the subject matter.