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This painting was inspired by the death of the artist’s son and the professional care of Dr Gustavus Murray who treated him. But this work shows the moment when a child shows the first sign of recovery. The light of dawn filters through the shutters behind the anxious parents who have sat up all night. In order to make the picture convincing, Fildes constructed a cottage interior in his studio and began work at dawn each day to catch the exact light effect. The image of an ordinary doctor’s quiet heroism was a huge success with the public.

February 2016