01 work, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, William Gale’s Captured Runaway, with Footnotes. #108

William Gale, (British, 1823-1909)
The Captured Runaway, c. 1856

Oil on canvas
127 x 96cm (50 x 37 13/16in)
Private collection

The Captured Runaway shows a female slave or indentured servant held captive by a male bounty-hunter. Her expression of fear and distress, with eyes upturned seemingly in hope of spiritual salvation, speaks of her fear of the cruel punishment that will await her when she is returned to the household or plantation estate from which she must previously have escaped. 

William Gale, (British, 1823-1909) was born in London and trained at Sass’s Academy and then at the Royal Academy Schools. As a young man he travelled to Italy and among his early works were genre subjects set in Rome. After his return to England, Gale specialised in literary subjects, with episodes from Spencer’s Faerie Queen and Shakespeare appearing among his exhibited works. 1856 was a highpoint in Gale’s career, with five paintings – including the present composition – shown between the Royal Academy and British Institution. The artist was consistently praised for the fineness and careful colouring of the generality of his works. In the 1860s Gale made two visits to the Holy Land, and in later years he painted biblical subjects from the Old and New Testaments and Orientalist genre themes. More on William Gale

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceAnd visit my Boards on Pinterest

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Author: Zaidan Art Blog

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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