The Magazine

November, 1893, Page: 5

Image Dimensions: 5.5 x 6 cms

Page Dimensions: 30.7 x 24.5 cms


Title: A briny tale

Date: 1893

Inscription: Text with pen and ink headpiece illustration, signed bottom right “A. R.”. Part of 7 pages of text with 3 pen and ink illustrations.

Keywords: headpieces; symbolism; metaphor; sea stories; romances

Material: Pen and ink

Commentary: In this story natural phenomena, wind, waves and sea creatures are personified and socially stratified into royalty and ‘plebs’. It is a typical fairy story with the expected ‘happy ending’. The main protagonists are the heroine, Princess Froth, a passive, fearful, artistic maiden, protected by her powerful father King Ninth Wave; her suitor, the virtuous, handsome and dashing Prince Spray and his rival, the evil threatening Prince East Wind. Raeburn’s reference to Velasquez, Rembrandt and Whistler indicates some of the major artists whom students at Glasgow School of Art were urged to emulate. The headpiece probably represents Prince Spray, the main illustration, Princess Froth and her young siblings Ripple and Swish, and the tailpiece, the ‘happy ending’, where Princess Froth and Prince Spray leave for their honeymoon on a dolphin’s back.