Pastel on board
This was a classic painting and I remember it was called Bubbles…I did this in pastel when I was painting with a group of artist that inspired me to do this kind of work . This is my interpretation of the classic painting a few differences.
..Bubbles, originally entitled “A Child’s World” was a painting by Sir John Everett Millais first exhibited in 1886 and became famous when it was used over many generations in advertisements for Pears soap. During Millais’s lifetime it led to widespread debate the relationship between art and advertising.
The Painting was one of many child pictures for which Millais had become well known in his later years. It was modelled by his five year old grandson William MIlbourne James and was based on 17th century Dutch precursors in the tradition of vanitas imagery, which commented upon the transience of life. These sometimes depicted young boys blowing bubbles, typically set against skulls and other gloomy background.
The painting portrays a young golden-haired boy looking up at a bubble, symbolising the beauty and fragility of life, On one side of him is a young plant growing in a pot, and on the other side a fallen broken,pot, emblemaic of death. He is spot-lit against a gloomy background.
The advertisment for Pears soap became so well known that William Milboune James, who later rose to the rank of Admiral in the British Navy, was known as “Bubbles” for the rest of his life.
Since A&F Pears was acquired by Lever Brother, the painting has been in their ownership. It was lent to the Royal Academy, but was tranferred to the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight in 2006.