John Cranch Monks Merrymaking c.1804

Artwork details

John Cranch 1751–1821
Monks Merrymaking
Date c.1804
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 162 x 210 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1968
Not on display

Display caption

This is one of two small pictures
by John Cranch showing monks
at work and at play. The companion
picture (now in a private collection)
shows the monks looking very bored, seated around a table strewn with
books, a skull, and an hour glass.
Here they are in a more festive mood.


Since the middle ages monks had
a reputation for indulgence. In Protestant England they were an especially common target for satire, representing everything that was deemed to be corrupt within
the Catholic church.


May 2002

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