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Sadler was well known for his humorous scenes of religious life. In this picture, which is also known as 'Tomorrow will be Friday', he shows a group of Franciscans fishing. These friars, were forbidden to eat meat on Fridays, in commemoration of the day when Christ was crucified. In 'Thursday', Sadler wrote, 'The background was made up from studies I had painted in Germany, with the help of some foreground studies made in the previous summer at Hurley on the Thames'. A pendant to this picture in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, called 'Friday', shows the friars enjoying their catch. The 1897 guide to the Tate noted that this picture 'was one of three that commenced Sir Henry Tate's collection'.

August 2004