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The title of this portrait of Brough’s friends means ‘fantasy in madness’ and refers to the reflective mood of the subject. The girl holds out the pendant of her necklace towards a ceramic Buddha, as if to compare East and West. ‘Fantasie’ can also be the title of a piece of music and provokes a certain mood, rather than telling a story. The picture was an international success, and by 1904 had been exhibited in Munich, Vienna, Paris, Glasgow and St Louis. It was then not included in any exhibition until 1983. Brough, a Scottish portrait painter, is now not well known, probably because he died young.

May 2007