Yeames and his circle - Frederick Goodall

Small boy hunting for a girl hiding behind a screen with dog helping|

'Puritan and Cavalier' 1886

Frederick Goodall (1822 - 1904)

Oil on canvas, 113 x 184.8

The boy, dressed as a Cavalier, is trying to find the girl, dressed as a Puritan, so he can kiss her under the mistletoe he is carrying. His King Charles spaniel pup has found her first, though. The models for the two children were the artist's son and daughter. The screen contains crewel work (embroidery) with a tree of life pattern. It is probably 19th century in date, but is imitating 17th century work.

This painting is an amusing parody of the Civil War scenes from everyday life painted by the St John's Wood Clique and others. Many of them did tend to trivialise events in search of humour and originality. Here, Goodall has carried this tendency as far as it can possibly go. The children are only playing a game - which is sometimes the impression given by some of the other, more 'serious' paintings about the Civil War.