The subjects of this painting are two characters from Shakespeare’s As You Like It
, the fool Touchstone and his lover, Audrey the goatherd. Audrey is the focus of the work, with the autumnal colours of the surrounding forest complementing her auburn hair and rustic beauty.
Audrey and her Goats
Scottish painter Arthur Melville trained in Edinburgh under James Campbell Noble and at the Royal Scottish Academy Schools. His early works are peasant subjects in a subdued style. He developed a colouristic watercolour style with strong contrasts of light and dark whilst travelling to Egypt. He was associated with the Glasgow Boys and influenced their development of colour and design. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Water Colour Society in 1900.