Thomas Webster

Late at School

1834, exhibited 1835

On display at Tate Britain

Artist
Thomas Webster 1800–1886
Medium
Oil paint on mahogany
Dimensions
Support: 457 x 377 x 10 mm
frame: 600 x 520 x 20 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Robert Vernon 1847
Reference
N00426

Display caption

Webster was a painter of narrative genre in the tradition of David Wilkie and William Mulready. Such pictures, generally modest in size and ostensibly representing scenes of everyday life, were popular with the public and acclaimed by many critics. Although contemporary commentaries tended to focus on their realism and painterly technique, these images also expose a preoccupation with the themes of education and discipline among the lower classes. When this picture was exhibited in 1835 a critic proclaimed it ‘a charming little composition; characteristic in every object, and painted with a true feeling of the art’.

Gallery label, February 2016

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