Domestic Scene: Boy with Water Pitcher and Cat

  • About the work
    Country: Luxembourg
    City: Luxembourg
    Place: British Embassy

    This interior scene of a young serving boy pouring water into a pail, while a kitten crouches nearby, is typical of the genre paintings of French artist Joseph Bail.

    This work was purchased for the Government Art Collection in 1963 from the collection of Sir Bruce Ingram, collector of art and former managing editor of the 'Illustrated London News'.

  • About the artist
    Joseph Bail was born in Limonest, in the Rhone region of France. His father, Jean-Antoine, was a genre painter, as was his brother, Frank. Joseph initially studied painting under his father, before briefly entering the atelier of Jean-Léon Gérôme. He exhibited at the Salon for the first time at the age of 16. Bail’s works are predominately genre scenes, generally interiors, including a single figure (often a child posing as maid or cook) strongly lit by a nearby window. Many include reflections in shiny copper or silver kitchenware, perhaps demonstrating the influence of the work of Jean-Siméon Chardin. Bail became a member of the Société des Artistes Français and was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1900. He died at the age of 59.
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  • Details
    Domestic Scene: Boy with Water Pitcher and Cat
    Oil on linen
    height: 55.20 cm, width: 46.00 cm, depth: 1.60 cm
    Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
    Collection of journalist and newspaper editor Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877-1963) and on loan to the Ministry of Works from 1952; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1963
    GAC number