Child death was a common occurrence in Victorian society. In Hush a mother devotedly watches over her sick baby, her anxiety mirrored in the face of an older child. This painting has a companion piece, Hushed which goes on to depict the death of the baby. Frank Holl confronts his subject directly, without sentimentality. The sombre colouring and the strong contrasts between light and shade heighten the grim mood.
Gallery label, May 2023
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