Comic subjects formed a very distinctive category within nineteenth-century genre painting. Many such pictures tended to depict instances of everyday domestic discomfort or, like this one, eccentricity and 'ruling passions'. The first owner of this picture, Robert Vernon, was something of a hypochondriac. He made his fortune in the 1830s by hiring horses to the gentry.
Lane had a sharp eye for domestic whimsy. Here, a gout-stricken angler is confined to his room. He still pursues his hobby against all the odds. His medicines are on the table beside him while his 'bible', Isaac Walton's 'The Compleat Angler', lies open on the floor.
Gallery label, September 2004
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- leisure and pastimes(7,581)