Mowgli Felt a Touch on his Foot. Mowgli, Bagheera and Chil (logo illustration for Letting In the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling, Pall Mall Budget, 13 December 1894 Christmas Number)
Aldin was at this stage not much of an expert at drawing animals (he got better). According to the Kipling Journal, the model for Mowgli was a young London street-urchin, and when Aldin mentioned that he needed a black cat as a visual reference for Bagheera the boy offered to supply him with one. It was only later that Aldin realized the boy had stolen the cat, and there was nothing he could do but compound the felony by keeping it.
When I saw Merritt's painting I couldn't help thinking of this comparison. The Jungle Books illustration is from a rare Victorian magazine, and is public domain due to its age. Aldin became quite a noted illustrator, but this is from his early period and not exactly vintage work. Given the dates, it's conceivable that Aldin had seen Merritt's painting and was incorporating elements of its pose.
Comparison: [see added view]: left, Anna Lea Merritt (1844-1930) - Love Locked Out (1889), Tate Britain, June 2012. Right, Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) - Mowgli Felt a Touch on his Foot (illustration from Letting In the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling, 1894)
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