A Girl Writing: The Pet Goldfinch by Henriette Browne (1829-1901)
France, about 1870, Museum no. 1083-1886
Oil on canvas, bequeathed by Joshua Dixon, 1886

A little girl is distracted by her pet goldfinch while doing her lessons in a rustic white-washed room. This sensitive portrait exemplifies the interest in everyday life and close observation of nature characteristic of the French Realist movement.

Henriette Browne was the pseudonym for Mme Jules de Saux. She specialised in genre scenes, especially Near-Eastern and religious subjects, as well as portraits. She enjoyed some success, exhibiting at the Salon in Paris in 1853 and at the Royal Academy in London between 1871 and 1879.

You can see this painting in the Childhood Galleries at the Museum of Childhood.