Between Two Fires

Between Two Fires by Francis Millet

Between Two Fires by Francis Millet

As a child I used to lie in bed staring at this reproduction picture on my bedroom wall, the Green Room in Murmur-y-Don. I was gripped by it, and made up endless stories about the characters. When the bedroom was redecorated the picture was never rehung, and gradually I forgot about it.

I rediscovered it at the back of a cupboard several years ago, and rehung it in the Blue Room, which is now my bedroom.

It retains its hold on me. What is the story? I still haven’t found out; it’s one of those fascinating, enduring mysteries, like where the heck Port Vale Football Club is.

But I have unearthed a little more about the artist and the origins of the painting. ‘Between Two Fires’ was painted circa 1892 by Francis Millet, an American artist living in Broadway, Worcestershire. He drowned on the Titanic twenty years later. It’s owned by the Tate, but being wholly unfashionable it is probably locked away in some dungeon. It’s certainly not on public view.

The point of this blog is not to criticise the Tate (again) but to praise them. In their online catalogue they reproduce the painting, supply a little background and then — here’s where credit’s due — they provide some of the best keywording I have come across. fotoLibra contributors take note. Look at this:

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I’d like to know who did this excellent work so I can credit them properly. Well done.