Miss Isobel Lilian Gloag NWS (1868-1917)

The symbolist painter I. L. Gloag was born in London, and studied at the Slade and South Kensington, and then in Paris. Back in London, she exhibited her first work at the Royal Academy, A Raw Recruit, in 1893. Altogether, she had some 19 works at the RA, including several Pre-Raphaelite-inspired and Symbolist works, most notably The Magic Mantle (also known as The Enchanted Cloak), showing a running girl, nude except for her cloak of peacock feathers, fleeing from onlookers. The same model appears in other of Gloag's works, such as her Rosamond, exhibited at the Academy in 1899. She also painted mythological pictures, including a Diana disturbed by Actaeon and a Bacchante and Fauns, and religious pictures, somewhat oversweet in sentiment but of good colouring. Other works in the oeuvre of this rather elusive painter include middle class genre and fashion pictures, and Black and White, showing a nude black girl with a white bulldog. She also did at least a little illustrative work.

Where are her pictures? I don't know of any on the walls of English galleries, but one of her principal pictures, the Bacchante and Fauns, is in the Art Gallery of Wellington, New Zealand, and the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris has a good portrait of a society lady.

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