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Paintings about trials, sentencing and courtroom incidents were extremely popular during the Victorian period. Solomon sets the scene in a darkened room. The family’s hopelessness is evident from the gentleman with his head in his hands and the woman’s angst-ridden expression. A sense of suspense is suggested by the woman who looks over her shoulder anxiously as the door of the courtroom opens. Despite the gloomy subject matter, both this picture and the sequel, Not Guilty (also on display here), were well received. Prints reproducing them sold well across the country.

July 2007