Madeline Green was a loner, not belonging to any group or school. From her isolated world in Ealing, where she lived unmarried for most of her working life, she projected herself through her pictures, role-playing variously as a mother and a wife, as a costermonger, as a dancer, as sinner and saint - with her unflinching gaze fixed always on the viewer.
In her Piper in Blue, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1917, Green sits in the eerie, sub-aqueous light of her studio, playing a tune on a pipe - perhaps a nod to Estella Canziani's famous Piper of Dreams (1916), which was reproduced as a print and sold in huge numbers by the Medici Society in 1916. In the Canziani, little woodland creatures creep out to listen - but in Green's strange painting, the piper is all alone; we are her audience.
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