John Robertson Reid

Toil and Pleasure

1879

In Tate Britain

Artist
John Robertson Reid 1851–1926
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 991 x 1822 mm
frame: 1405 x 2230 x 160 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1879
Reference
N01600

Display caption

Toil and Pleasure shows a rural community that is divided by wealth and social class. This inequality is demonstrated between those who work on the land
and those that use it for leisure. In the foreground, workers are shown harvesting turnips. However, they are presented in an idealised way. Their clothes appear untouched by their hard work. In the background, members of a hunt, a popular leisure activity among the wealthy upper classes at the time, ride across the field.

Gallery label, April 2019

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Catalogue entry

N01600 TOIL AND PLEASURE 1879

Inscr. ‘John R. Reid 79.’ b.l.
Canvas, 39×71 3/4 (99×182).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1879.
Exh: R.A., 1879 (540).
Lit: J. B. Manson, The Tate Gallery, 1929, p.121 and repr. p.122.
Repr: Sir Edward J. Poynter, The National Gallery, III, 1900, p.229.

Painted at Ashington in Sussex.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II

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