Anton BRUEHL | not titled [Little girl wearing bonnet and coat]

Australia 1900 – United States of America 1982
United States from 1919

not titled [Little girl wearing bonnet and coat] 1938
dye-transfer colour photograph
image 29.0 (h) x 25.6 (w) cm
Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia, Inc., New York, NY, USA, made possible with the generous support of Anton Bruehl Jr, 2006.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2006.117


It would seem from the large number of child studies that Bruehl made, and judging by the children’s demeanour in them – serious and self-contained but relaxed and performing well for the camera – that the artist and his young subjects enjoyed the experience. Bruehl married relatively late in 1940, to Sara Barnes, a Georgia-born journalist sixteen years his junior, and they had three sons.

It is possible that this is a portrait of Barbara, the daughter of Ludwig Bemelmans. Bemelmans was a regular contributor to magazines like The New Yorker and Vogue, but found fame as the creator of six picture books about the adventures of a little girl called Madeline. The Madeline character was based on Barbara.

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