PROVENANCE: C. Legge
bt. Duchess of Gloucester;
by 1864, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, his sale, Christie's, 11 June 1904,
bt. Permain Barnet Lewis, Esq., his sale, Christie's, 3 March 1930,
bt. Thomas Bodkin
with Thomas Agnew and
with Thomas Agnew & Sons
Mrs. Bridgid Hardwick
EXHIBITED: Royal Academy, 1845, no. 145 (as A Sketch, painted in 1830); 1848 , no. IV; 1864, no. 65
Dublin Municipal Art Gallery, Bodkin Collection, 1962
LITERATURE: Examiner, 1845, p. 293
W.M. Thackeray as M.A. Titmarsh, Fraser's Magazine, June 1845, p. 723
Kathryn Moore Heleniak, William Mulready, Yale UP: New Haven and London, 1980, p. 114 ill.
A young man shows his child the pictures in a family Bible while a woman looks out at the setting sun over the countryside beyond. Peaceful, idealised rural life, contentment in poverty, are gentle, recurring themes in Mulready's intimate paintings in the Dutch manner. He often enlisted his family to sit for him - by this date, having separated from his wife, his four sons with her grown up, he was living with his 'housekeeper', a Mrs. Leckie, and surrounded by children of complicated parentage. Mulready used thin glazes on a panels to create a luminous effect, warm and vibrant; when the author Thackeray saw it, he wrote: 'There is a little Mulready, of which the colour blazes out like sapphires and rubies...'