Posted on: 4 September 2013

The Rajah's Birthday
By Sir Frank Brangwyn RA RWS PRBA HRSA, 1867-1956.
Oil on canvas
Source: Sparrow, Frank Brangwyn and His Work

Commentary by Walter Shaw Sparrow

In his "Rajah's Birthday," where his impression of Indian sunlight at midday is not only radiant but quite near to the spectator, transfiguring objects in the foreground, his gamut of colour is unstrained, and his handling everywhere is free, ample, and joyous. There is not a trace of tired manipulation. The blaze of light being intense, your eyes do not at first resolve the plots of colour into the merry scene which they represent; but presently the many-tinted figures in the crowd, emerging one by one from the sunshine, begin to jostle around the great elephants; and you see that the noble animals, bedecked like houris, have a half-humorous look in their eyes, that elephants of state assume when little human creatures amuse themselves in a noisy and feeble way. . . .

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Frozen in time!