Henry Herbert La Thangue

The Man with the Scythe

exhibited 1896

Artist
Henry Herbert La Thangue 1859–1929
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1676 x 1664 mm
frame: 1990 x 1975 x 165 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1896
Reference
N01605

Not on display

Display caption

La Thangue was well-known for his realist rustic scenes. Here, uncharacteristically, he introduces a symbolic dimension to his work. A mother discovers that her young daughter has died, presumably after an illness. At the same moment, a man arrives at the gate carrying a scythe, the traditional symbol of death, the ‘grim reaper’.This rather melodramatic treatment can be compared with the more grimly realistic picture of child death Hushed, by Frank Holl, also shown in this room.

Gallery label, July 2007

Catalogue entry

N01605 THE MAN WITH THE SCYTHE c. 1896
 
Inscr. ‘H. H. La Thangue.’ b.r.
Canvas, 66×65 1/2 (167·5×166·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1896.
Exh: R.A., 1896 (195); Late Members, R.A., winter 1933 (205).
Lit: E. T. Cook, A Popular Handbook to the Tate Gallery, 1898, p.223.
Repr: The Nation's Pictures, 1901, 1, No.46 (in colour); Tate Gallery Illustrations, 1928, pl.69; Hesketh Hubbard, A Hundred Years of British Painting 1851–1951, 1951, pl.65.


Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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