Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘H Barron Pinxt 1768’ b.r.
Oil on canvas, 41 3/4×55 (106×139.7)
Bequeathed by Alan Evans to the National Gallery and transferred to the Tate Gallery 1974
Coll: ...; Warland Andrew, sold Christie's 24 July 1914(24), bought Huggins; the Hon. Frederick Wallop by 1930; by descent to Alan Evans
Exh: ?R.A. 1768(4) as ‘Young Gentlemen at Play’; Conversation Pieces, 25 Park Lane 1930 (souvenir booklet, p.7, repr.)
Lit: G. C. Williamson, English Conversation Pictures, 1931, p.24, pl. LXXII

The title is traditional, and was wrongly given in the 1931 publication as ‘The Children of George Bond of Ditchling Romford’. Nothing is known of the family, except that the Bonds lived at Ditchleys, South Weald, Essex (not very far from Romford) during the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. From title deeds at the Essex Record Office (D/DU667/8) it can be seen that George was a family name, but no details are known before 1783.

The painting is probably identical with that exhibited at the R.A. in 1768 and is one of Barron's early independent performances after leaving Reynolds' studio in 1766.

The boys are shown playing an early form of cricket.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1974-6: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1978