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Girl and a Whippet by Christine Nagle

Girl and a Whippet

Christine Nagle

About the artwork and sitter

Christine first saw Paolo Caliari’s artwork “Boy with a Greyhound” in the Met, and was entranced by the artist’s ability to capture such a human, everyday moment that transcended the 453 years since it was painted.

Aside from the Boy’s clothing, it could be a parent’s capture on an iPhone today.

Through this lens Christine saw and sought to capture what could be her own daughter Isla’s grand portrait, with their whippet, named X-Man.

The colours of the silk dress boldly stand out and bring the classic portrait into our present day, with a nod to the past.

About the artist

Christine’s art exploration has taken an informal path of a partial Fine Arts degree, fashion and textile design, travel and motherhood.

She has a passion for portraiture and working with oil is now driving her primarily self-taught creative expression.

Through her practice, she strives to translate emotion and capture the nature of the sitter, yet also working with the intention of crafting a visual story.

“Through her practice, she strives to translate emotion and capture the nature of the sitter."

Behind the scenes

The seed of inspiration was planted upon viewing Caliari’s life-sized artwork “Boy with a Greyhound”. What struck me was that this was just a portrait of a kid with his dog- so timeless yet painted 450 years ago. Looking at it, I could imagine my beautiful daughter Isla and our dog poised so elegantly, depicted with the same sensitivity and with the feel of a bygone era. 
I wanted to challenge my art practice, and at 91cm this was to be the largest work I had attempted. Isla is wearing a dress that I had sewn, and hand painted 20 years ago, and I took many photos of her in our best room for lighting – my son’s messy bedroom! I formed my reference by cobbling together her feet from one photo and our dog from another and collaging them the old-fashioned way- with scissors and glue.