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Painting by Bryson Burroughs: Fisherman and the Genie, represented by Childs Gallery

Bryson Burroughs

American (1869-1934)

Fisherman and the Genie, 1932
Oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower right: “Bryson Burroughs 1932”. Stretcher bears Kennedy Galleries label. In fine condition.

Provenance: Bryson Burroughs (d. 1934) to his widow Louise Burroughs (d. 1980) to Bryson Burroughs’s daughter-Betty Burroughs Marsh Woodhouse (d. 1988) to Lilla Woodhouse (Mrs. Brierly S. Woodhouse, son of Betty Woodhouse, d. 1985) to Virginia von Schlegell (agent) to Childs Gallery.

This painting refers to a story from the 1001 Arabian Nights in which a poor fisherman, struggling with his daily catch, asks the Gods for help. The next time he casts his net he brings up a brass lamp that, upon opening, releases a genie. The genie, having been prisoner in the lamp for over eight centuries is angry and determines to kill the fisherman. The fisherman being a clever man, tricks the genie back into the lamp and seals him in until the genie agrees to aide the poor fisherman and his family. The genie helps the fisherman catch four magic fish which end up being the four religions of another kingdom. Upon the conversion of the fish into people by a witch, the fisherman is rewarded handsomely by the Sultan.

Signature: signed lower right