Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection
Please note that the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum prohibits the use of images from its collection in public exhibition, broadcast, electronic reproduction or publication in any form without prior written permission from the institution. If you would like to reproduce any of the Art Gallery images in any form, contact us at 748-8291.
Seymour Joseph Guy (1824-1910), British-American
The modern nursery tale of Little Red Riding Hood derives from traditional folk stories circulated in both Europe and Scandinavia. First published by the French author Charles Perrault in 1697, the story's most popular version did not acquire a happy ending until the early nineteenth century, when it was added by the German brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. In Guy's painting, Red, who does not suspect the wolf's wickedness, innocently points the way to her grandmother's house, where the wolf will set his trap.
One art historian, David Lubin, has suggested that the popularity of such depictions of vulnerable young girls, including this particular painting, reflected a conservative reassertion of women's dependence on men at a time when leaders such as suffragist Susan B. Anthony were agitating for women's rights.