Jessie M. King

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Jessie M. King
In a Deserted Churchyard Beyond the City Gates
Pen and black ink, watercolor, over pencil on parchment.
sheet: 11 1/16 x 9 1/4 inches (28.1 x 23.4 cm); image: 10 11/16 x 8 11/16 inches (27.1 x 22.1 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. The bright colors and broad, flat areas of this somber composition reflect the stylistic changes King's work underwent after she moved to Paris in 1910 and came under the influence of the Ballet Russes designer Leon Bakst. This drawing was one of sixteen illustrations King made for a 1915 edition of Oscar Wilde's "A House of Pomegranates," published by Methuen. By 1915, King had returned to Scotland, settling in "Green Gate Close" in Kirkcudbright, which became an important center for women artists.


Inscribed by the artist at lower edge of design area, in pen and black ink, "IN A DESERTED CHURCHYARD BEYOND ....... THE CITY GATES".

Sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., Glasgow, June 21, 1977, no. 157; Justin Schiller, Ltd., New York; Frederick R. Koch, New York.
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