Child Holding a Kitten
ArtistJohn Russell (British, 1745 – 1806)
MediumPastel on paper
DimensionsImage : 22 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (57.78 x 45.08 cm)
Frame : 29 1/2 x 25 in. (74.93 x 63.5 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
John Russell was the preeminent British pastel artist of the late 18th century. At the peak of Russell’s popularity in the 1780s and 90s, his works commanded prices similar to those of Sir Joshua Reynolds, then President of the British Royal Academy of Art. Russell was primarily a portraitist and genre artist, well known for his sentimental pictures of children with animals. This image of a young child holding a kitten is typical of his work. In addition to being an artist, Russell was also a devout Methodist minister and an amateur scientist who produced an important series of drawings and paintings based on his observations of the moon.