- Samuel Butler 1835–1902
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 921 x 708 mm
frame: 1058 x 857 x 88 mm
- Presented by representatives of Jason Smith 1911
This is Butler’s largest painting and is considered his most successful. Butler himself referred to this work as ‘important’. It was however, based on a joke. Mr Heatherley, who ran an art school in London that Butler attended, is pictured fixing a skeleton. The skeleton was regularly damaged by students who would dress it up in costumes or dance with it. The ‘holiday’ referred to in the title is also intended to be amusing. Mr Heatherley was notorious for never taking a holiday, preferring to stay in London and look after his studio.
Gallery label, June 2019
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