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Toad as The Blue Boy and Pinkie

 

It is The Huntington who famously paired the paintings of The Blue Boy and Pinkie, but it was J. Thaddeus Toad who made the paintings infamous.

The Blue Boy is an oil-on-canvas painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Painted around 1770, it portrays Jonathan Buttall--son of a successful hardware merchant who was a close friend of Gainsborough's--wearing period clothing from about 1630. It's the most famous painting owned by The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (a.k.a. The Huntington), near Pasadena, California.

Nearly 25 years after The Blue Boy was painted, Thomas Lawrence captured the likeness of Pinkie in oil on canvas. Painted in 1794, it portrays 11-year-old Sarah Barrett Moulton--called Pinkie by her grandmother, who commissioned the portrait. Pinkie was the daughter of a wealthy plantation family in Jamaica.

Pinkie was the last painting purchased by Mr. Huntington. It was installed opposite The Blue Boy in the late 1920. The close proximity of the two created an inseparable pairing of two previously unassociated paintings.

Mr Toad as Blue Boy and Pinkie

 

While working at Walt Disney Imagineering on the redesign of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland, Philip Dagort painted a small portrait of Mr. Toad as The Blue Boy. Its debut exhibit was at the Disney Gallery above Pirates of the Carribean. Later, a portrait of Mr. Toad as Pinkie--called Pinkie of Toad Hall--was commissioned for the Disney Gallery.

Lithographs of the two portraits were issued by the Gallery, which were also reproduced as post cards. The lithographs measured 10-1/2" x 13" and were limited to 300. Limited-edition figurines were created by sculptor Kent Melton, produced in September, 2000.

Mr Toad as Blue Boy

 

Those who pre-ordered the 6-1/2" pair could get matching numbers (of 1500). Today the figurines sell on eBay for approximately $175 each.

blue boy numbered

 

 

Sources:

"Mr. Toad as 'Blue Boy,' Pinkie of Toad Hall," Ariodante Productions, http://ariodante.net/mrtoad.html

"Pinkie," The Huntington, http://www.huntington.org/thehuntington_full.aspx?id=1002

"The Blue Boy," The Huntington, http://www.huntington.org/thehuntington_full.aspx?id=982

 


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