PROVENANCE: Benjamin Godfrey Windus:
His sale, Christie's 17.2.1868, lot 187, bt Vokins
This powerful little picture dates from the mid 1850s, early for a modern life subject of such uncompromising bleakness. The title is taken from a poem by Thomas Hood of 1844 about a young woman who has sinned and thrown herself into the river. By this time, the lot of the fallen woman in Victorian society was covered by poets and novelists, but painters were slower to depict it. The Tottenham coachmaker BG Windus, who owned this picture and at least fifteen others by Grant (including another version with the same title, probably larger, untraced), amassed a great collection of Turners, and later of the Pre-Raphaelites, including Millais's Isabella, Mariana and Ophelia, and Hunt's The Scapegoat.