The Little Princess Annan, James Craig  (Scottish, 1864-1946)

"A Little Princess", wouldn’t you think it was one of those Spanish Infantas produced by the brush of the master Velazquez? Can there be better praise for a photographic work? With what grace the young princess poses in her silk dress with its marvelous boldly-drawn effects of highlight and half dark – or maybe she does not? There is a dignity of bearing and expression. With what lines and graceful movement the arm descends to her hand where there is a peacock feather. Then there is her intelligent and innocent face looking at you with lovely eyes, and her black hair falls on her shoulders. It is a seductive work of nobility and reality, full of stability and created by an impeccable technique and an astonishing rendering.

As Annan must have spent many hours working on the reproductions of works of art in which his firm specialized, it is inevitable that these should have been a stimulus for him. Annan’s awareness of these works and his skill in reproducing them was peculiarly apt at that time when many photographers were consciously imitating painting in an effort to demonstrate that their work should be considered art. The most obvious example of this in Annan’s case is "A Little Princess". The peacock feather, a symbol of fin de siécle decadence, rests in sharp contrast to her childish face. (Buchanan P.5)

Reproduced / Exhibited

Buchanan, William. J. Craig Annan: Selected Texts and Bibliography. Oxford: Clio Press, 1994. p. 5