Charles Mahoney (1903-1968):
Children sleeping - illustration to a fable, mid 1920's
Framed (ref: 223)
Oil on board
Provenance: The Artist's Daughter
From his earliest days as an art student Mahoney showed a vivid imagination in the form of illustrated letters (see Tate Archive, especially his correspondence with Bawden and Dunbar) and a keen interest in Mural and Theatre design (especially after meeting Geoffrey Rhoades in 1924). His daughter Elizabeth ( born in 1944) recalls that her father loved to recount children's stories: Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, the Tale of the Very Fat Man, the Very Tall Thin Man, and the Very Short Man.' The fables of the Brothers Grimm were amongst his favourite stories.
A study related to this picture was sold by Liss Llewellyn to the V&A Museum of Childhood in 2017.
The bearded man and woman holding the baby appear in another interior scene by Mahoney dating to the same period:
Dreams, (sometimes nightmares) were a recurrent theme in Mahoney's oeuvre. Mahoney was very intrigued in the mid 30's by the advent of surrealism.