A Tempting Bait

A Tempting Bait, 1906
Arthur John Elsley (1861 – 1952)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 00751
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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A Tempting Bait

Elsley’s idyllic images of childhood became the icons of the Edwardian era. His paintings were often reproduced as engravings or used for advertisements. Bovril made promotional prints of this painting, which costumers could own in exchange for Bovril labels. This ‘chocolate box’ image has an ominous undertone. The young boy holds out an apple to entice the pony and distract it from the bridle he holds behind his back. The viewer can see the trick, but the pony cannot. Arthur Elsley’s daughter, Marjorie, was the model for the young girl holding the collie.