Adventures Under the Mistletoe

edward frederick brewtnall - under the mistletoeUnder the Mistletoe” by Edward Frederick Brewtnall (1846-1902).

“Now all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams –
In what ethereal dances
By what eternal streams!”

-Edgar Allan Poe

Kissing under the mistletoe is an ancient English Christmas custom dating back to at least the early 17th century. The correct procedure –  now seldom observed – is that a man should pick a berry when he kisses a girl under the mistletoe; and when the last berry is gone; there should be no more kissing.

I wish I knew about that years ago.  This knowledge could have saved many an embarrassing social occasion when the vapours of Bacchus have taken over an unwanted Kissing Under the Mistletoe situation that would normally have never occurred!

About the artist: Edward Frederick Brewtnall was an English genre, landscape, figure painter and illustrator. He was born in London on 13 October 1846 and studied at the Lambeth School of Art. Based in London, Brewtnall worked in both  oil  and  water-colour, exhibiting, from 1868, at the Royal Academy, Society of British Artists, Grosvenor Gallery and the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS). He was made a full member of the latter in 1883 and also became a member of the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI).

Brewtnall had a particular interest in Folk tales and Ballads which became the subjects of many of his paintings such as “Cinderella“, “The Frog Princess” (1880), “Little Red Riding Hood” (1895), and “Sleeping Beauty” etc. He provided artwork for The Graphic, “The Pall Mall, “The Quiver“, and The English Illustrated magazines, and illustrated books such as Barnard’s edition of Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress‘ amongst others. He died in November 1902.

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