Jessie M. King

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Jessie M. King
Galahad and the Holy Graal
ca. 1903
Pen and black ink over pencil on parchment.
11 3/4 x 7 15/16 inches (29.8 x 20.1 cm)
Gift of Mr. Frederick R. Koch.

King was a successful artist and designer associated with the Glasgow Style (ca. 1895-1920), an Art Nouveau variant that developed in Scotland and spread across Europe. Unusual for the time, women studied side-by-side with men at the Glasgow School of Art, an incubator of the Glasgow Style. A group of these women, King included, is referred to as the Glasgow Girls. Over the course of her long career, King created jewelry, ceramics, interiors, textiles, book designs, illustrations, and "fantasy" drawings in pen, ink, and watercolor. She stressed the role of her "inner eye" in developing her subject matter. This drawing may have been made in connection with King's illustrations for a 1903 edition of "The High History of the Holy Graal," a chivalric legend originating in the thirteenth century. It shows the moment when the knight Galahad completes the quest for the Holy Grail.


Signed by the artist at lower right, in pen and black ink, "JESSIE M KING" and inscribed along lower edge, "GALAHAD AND THE HOLY GRAAL".

Sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., Glasgow, June 21, 1977, no. 212; Justin Schiller, Ltd., New York; Frederick R. Koch, New York.
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