Oh, Swallow, Swallow

John Melhuish Strudwick, 1894

WAG 305

About this object

The Liverpool shipowner George Holt greatly admired Strudwick’s work. This painting was commissioned by Holt. When it was exhibited at the New Gallery in London in 1895, it was shown with lines from Alfred Tennyson’s (1809-1892) poem ‘The Princess, A Medley’ (1847):

O Swallow, flying from the golden woods,
Fly to her, and pipe and woo her, and make her mine,
And tell her, tell her, that I follow thee.

Strudwick shows a swallow at the window bringing a message of love. The girl,distracted by thoughts of her admirer, holds a golden chain with heart pendants.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    John Melhuish Strudwick (British: English, born:1849-05-06, died:1937-07-16)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Oil paint; Canvas; Panel
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 93 cm x 59 cm; frame: 127 cm x 93 cm x 11.5 cm
  • Physical description
    A young woman sits on a bench in a bay window. Her body faces the viewer, but she gazes to the left. She has red hair and wears a long decorative red dress. Books lay beside her to the right and a lyre leans against the bench on the left. A window has been left open and a small bird can be seen flying nearby.
  • Related people
    Emma Georgina Holt (Previous owner) ; George Holt (Previous owner) ; John Melhuish Strudwick (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 305
  • Credit line
    Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery by Emma Holt in 1944
  • Location
    Sudley House, Ground Floor, Garden Hall
  • Collection
    From the Sudley House collections


Previous owners

  • Emma Georgina Holt

    Owned from: 1896
    How acquired: By descent from George Holt
    Owned until: 1944
    Disposal method: Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery
  • George Holt

    Owned from: 1894
    How acquired: Commision from the artist £500
    Owned until: 1896
    Disposal method: By descent to Emma Holt


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: JMS 1894
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower left
Object view = Fine Art
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