Catalogue entry

T02006 CHILDREN AT THE BURN 1889

Inscribed ‘John Q Pringle’ and traces of a date below b.r.
Oil mounted on canvas mounted on board, 8×12 (20.3×30.5)
Presented by James Meldrum 1975
Coll: Given by the artist to William Meldrum c. 1896; bequeathed in 1942 by William Meldrum to his son, James Meldrum, the donor
Exh: Annual Exhibition, Glasgow Fine Art Institute, 1896 (64) as ‘Children at the Burn’; Collection of Pictures by John Q. Pringle, Glasgow School of Art, February–March 1922, (9) as ‘The Brook 1889’; Pictures by John Quinton Pringle, Saltire Club, Glasgow, (26) as ‘The Brook’; John Q. Pringle 1864–1925: A Centenary Exhibition, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Summer 1964, (54, repr,) as ‘Children at the Burn’ and subsequent Scottish Arts Council tour in 1968 of a selection of the 1964 exhibition; Eighty-Ninth Exhibition, Paisley Art Gallery, March–April 1973, (38) as ‘Children at the Burn’; John Quinton Pringle 1864–1925, City of Edinburgh Art Centre, October 1973, as ‘Children at the Burn’, (no catalogue)

Painted at Calderwood Glen, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, approximately 4 miles south east from the centre of Glasgow. The location has since become a built-up area. Pringle often included fanciful figures in his landscape compositions including a New Year's card sent by Pringle to William Meldrum in December 1891 (coll. James Meldrum). He made many drawings of children in the '80's and '90's and often included children and fences in his paintings.

In T02006 the figures appear under ultraviolet illumination to have been painted on top of the landscape after its completion, being in a different, rather resinous medium.

The date inscribed on T02006 is no longer legible, but a date of 1889 is given in the catalogue entry on the Glasgow School of Art exhibition in 1922, during Pringle's lifetime, and may be assumed to be his own. An unfinished picture of about the same date, ‘Chinese Lanterns’ (8 1/2×12 1/2 in.), showing children with lanterns at a burn is in the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum collection.

T02006 was painted during the period 1885–95 while Pringle, who worked as an optician for almost all his working life, attended evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art.

In a letter to the compiler (21 January 1976) the donor wrote:

‘... the white collar of the little girl (left) is not the original. I remember that my father told me that this had flaked off at one time during the period he had the painting. He did not want to draw Pringle's attention to this and asked Somerville Shanks to restore it’.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978