Samuel Butler

Mr Heatherley’s Holiday: An Incident in Studio Life

1874

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 921 x 708 mm
frame: 1058 x 857 x 88 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by representatives of Jason Smith 1911
Reference
N02761

Display caption

It was Heatherley’s that set me wrong. This is Butler’s largest and most successful painting. It satirises the dusty, macabre jumble out of which ‘grand styleVictorian classicism was expected to arise. Heatherley’s art school in Newman Street, which Butler attended for a number of years, was run by the old man shown here, who famously never took a holiday. His mending of a skeleton often misused by students pinpoints Butler’s rejection of academicism.

Gallery label, September 2004