Portrait of a Boy by Annie Swynnerton

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Portrait of a Boy by Annie Swynnerton

Painting NamePortrait of a Boy
Painter NameAnnie Swynnerton
Size48 x 23 cm (18.9" x 9.06")
Current LocationPrivate collection

“Portrait of a Boy” carries the weight of character more than anything else. Besides, the choice of medium by Swynnerton is simply breathtaking. If I were to imagine someone painting a subject like this, watercolor, pastel and ink would be the safest guesses. However, Swynnerton’s subject is all about strength of character. She loved immortalizing young boys, for whom she might have been unable to recollect identities. It is clear that the little boy’s posture is impressive, and there is all the innocence in his good-natured face, which also carries an element of disciplining history.

Swynnerton belonged in the times of conservative ideologies, conflicting with leftist ideals of feminism, socialism and equal pay for women. It was a noble thing to be on that side, especially because right-conservative meant adhering to several traditional rules for which no one had a sound explanation. Swynnerton could have been Ayn Randish if she lived into the mid-20th Century. However, at schools of Oxford, Wales and Scotland, the conservatives were right on a number of intellectual fronts, causing their upper hand to be of great influence in society.

In such an ambience, Swynnerton might have burdened herself with all the hope for a child to grow with the right conscience – not to forget she had already become a Suffragette activist before the dawn of the 20th Century. It is best to look at this oil on canvas as a child growing up under severe discipline – because of the lack of any joyful expression. That could also be due to the grey mood that literally sheathed London and Yorkshire after the industrial revolution in the mid-1800s.

You can also find a lot of aesthetic value in this painting, especially if you were to add it to your exhibition collection. At home, this could be a great picture unless too much meaning is associated in appreciation of the subject – this is a depiction, more worthy of study than gaining personal inspiration from the prudent boy.


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