A Girl with Fruit

A Girl with Fruit

Sir John Gilbert


Oil on canvas

125 x 91 cm

Guildhall Gallery, London

City of London Corporation, by kind permission

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"The 'English Rubens' was a great admirer of Rembrandt, whose textures he tried to imitate, using few pigments, which must have darkened over time. An autodidact without any formal training, Gilbert often hid his figures under billowing drapes," writes Laurent Bury, in his review of the book accompanying the Guildhall Gallery's exhibition of Gilbert's work in 2011. But the dark colours here are relieved by gold, and "the vigour and inventiveness of Gilbert's art" (Froyen 156) are nowhere more apparent than in this striking figure, with her proud looks and stately carriage. — Jacqueline Banerjee