A possible ‘new’ painting by Annie – “Little Visitors,” 1883.

A newly identified painting by “Miss. Annie L. Robinson,” or rather a Victorian copy of it, appeared on Ebay this week, entitled “Little Visitors.” A web hunt identified the same images on a couple of other web sites (www.antiquestruffle.com, www.labrocante.ca).


1883 Little Visitors (ALR)

The Ebay sale describes it as “Little Visitors, Annie L. Robinson – original antique lithographic print 1883,” and as being a ‘chromolithograph‘ – a black-and-white image over-printed with coloured inks – and published in ‘The Graphic‘ Christmas Number, 1883 (The Graphic was a weekly publication similar to the better-known Illustrated London News).

Being a drawn copy an original, it doesn’t have the same painterly qualities, but the subject matter is very typical of Annie, and as she was becoming a well-known painter by this time it is extremely unlikely that any other ‘Annie L. Robinson’ would be being referenced. Annie married in 1883, so the use of the maiden name would be correct as the painting would have been completed before that date.

While I believe it to be a copy of an Annie painting myself, it’s a matter of case not proven. The painting of children as little adults in mourning-style dress (fashionable in the day) is in keeping with some of her mannerisms, and along with the title gives an allegorical/symbolist feel to the picture. However, I know of no other reference in auction or exhibition catalogues to a painting called ‘Little Visitors,’ and the bright background to the figures – the pale drape over the seat – is odd-looking. I’d have expected something darker. As thing stand it’ll have to be an ‘attributed.’ I’m hoping Annie’s monogram or signature will be visible in the print, which should arrive in the post in a few day’s time.

Jonathan Russell

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