Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale ~ The Little Foot Page ~ 1905
"The work is based on the story of Burd Helen, a tragic heroine from Scottish balladry, who dressed as a boy page to follow her cruel lover on foot while he rode on horseback. After bearing him a child, she was finally acknowledged by him and they married. Here she is shown secretly doffing her female attire and cutting her long hair, in preparation for her journey. "
Click to read versions of the traditional ballad, Child Waters.
Thank you, indigodreams, for the detail from this painting.