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Title The Fairy Ring
Alternative Title Children Dancing
Collection Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen
Artist Attributed to school of Cleve, Cornelis van (Netherlandish painter, 1520-after 1570)
Previously attributed to Raphael (Italian painter and draftsman, 1483-1520)
Date Earliest about 1540
Date Latest about 1570
Description This picture of children dancing in a ring was once attributed to Raphael. Nine naked children dance with their backs to each other, apparently all male except for one girl at the left, who is distinguishable by the gown she wears and by her centrally-parted hairstyle. The two boys nearest the viewer have wings, hence the title of the painting, although they probably represent putti rather than fairies.

The painting is similar in style to the Flemish artist Cornelis van Cleve (1520-after 1570), and a painting of the same theme exists that is attributed to him.

Current Accession Number ABDUA 30621
Subject figure; interior
Measurements 51 x 63 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel (hardwood)
Acquisition Details Unknown
Notes An old label on the back of the panel reads 'Pronounced by Mr Byres to be an undoubted Raffaelle [sic]'.

A painting sold at Bonhams (London), 6 December 2006 (Sale 14314), lot 3, called Infants Dancing and attributed to Cornelis van Cleve is remarkably similar to the present picture. A more chaotic dance is depicted, and with eighteen children, but the same green curtains, cherry-decorated lamp or crown and flower-strewn floor are depicted. It is however a longer panel, of 45.9 x 146 cm, but the similar height makes it tempting to speculate that it relates to the present picture, perhaps as part of a series for incorporating into panelling or as overmantles.

Rights Owner The University of Aberdeen
Author David Taylor

 

 

 

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