William MulreadyFair Time ('Returning from the Ale-House') 1809-1839, exhibited 1809, 1840

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Artwork details

Artist
William Mulready (1786‑1863)
Title
Fair Time ('Returning from the Ale-House')
Date 1809-1839, exhibited 1809, 1840
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 787 x 660 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00394
Not on display

Summary

Mulready exhibited this painting in its first state at the Royal Academy in 1809, with the title Returning from the Ale-House. It is an early example of the rustic narrative scenes, full of anecdotal detail, which later brought Mulready success. In the foreground a group of village children collect the coins distributed drunkenly by two ruddy-cheeked men staggering home from the ale-house, witnessed with disapproval by two dour schoolmasters in the building nearby. The background is a serene, bucolic landscape in the evening sun. The subject and style of the painting refer both to the early genre scenes of Mulready’s contemporary David Wilkie (1785–1841) and to those of Dutch seventeenth-century painters, in particular Adriaen Van Ostade (1610–85)… (read more)

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