While one infant is saved in Holl’s Deserted – a Foundling, another is lost in this 1874 study for Her Firstborn, Horsham Churchyard. The finished painting, exhibited in the 1876 Royal Academy, was one of several funeral pictures that year, appealing to the public taste for such themes. Although one critic, in the Art Journal, insisted ‘Mr. Holl, we are sure, never painted better’, another complained that Holl’s depiction of family tragedy was a subject ‘far too prevalent just now, to judge by the amount of “agony” piled up in this Exhibition.’ This watercolour sketch is dated two years before the finished painting. Perhaps done shortly after witnessing the scene, it has a sense of almost intrusive immediacy.