Henry Tonks
Rosamund and the Purple Jar exhibited 1900

Artwork details

Henry Tonks 1862–1937
Rosamund and the Purple Jar
Date Exhibited 1900
Medium Oil paint on wood
Dimensions Support: 527 x 375 mm
frame: 740 x 590 x 80 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1923
Not on display

Display caption

The title of this painting is taken from a series of moralising tales for children written by Maria Edgworth in 1823. Rosamund decides to buy a large jar of purple liquid she had seen in a chemist’s shop window, rather than a new pair of shoes. In this painting her delight turns to dismay as she realises that she will be confined indoors because her shoes are too uncomfortable to wear.

Edgworth was writing at a time when nearly all literature intended for children was didactic in intention, though these moral tales remain very popular today.

September 2004

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