Daniel Cottier, attributed to
Scottish, 19th century
Fire Screen, c. 1875
92 x 230.4 x 3.6 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of an anonymous donor
This decorative fire screen attributed to Daniel Cottier is a wonderful example of the Aesthetic Movement (c. 1870–1900), which celebrated high aesthetic principles and the role of beauty in art. For the Aesthetic artists, beauty was paramount, as was the sensuous pleasure of art which replaced the narrative or moral message in the work. The image of a beautiful young woman, which dominates the central screen, likely represents Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees and gardens. Daniel Cottier apprenticed to John Cairney & Company, glass-stainers in Glasgow, before moving to London where he studied under the Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown. Cottier’s work, particularly his depiction of beautiful women, shows the influence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founding member of the Brotherhood.