Walter Dendy Sadler



Not on display

Walter Dendy Sadler 1854–1923
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 864 × 1410 mm
Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894

Display caption

Sadler was well known for his humorous scenes of religious life. In this picture, which is also known as 'Tomorrow will be Friday', he shows a group of Franciscans fishing. These friars, were forbidden to eat meat on Fridays, in commemoration of the day when Christ was crucified. In 'Thursday', Sadler wrote, 'The background was made up from studies I had painted in Germany, with the help of some foreground studies made in the previous summer at Hurley on the Thames'. A pendant to this picture in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, called 'Friday', shows the friars enjoying their catch. The 1897 guide to the Tate noted that this picture 'was one of three that commenced Sir Henry Tate's collection'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N01555 THURSDAY 1880

Inscr. ‘W Dendy Sadler. 80.’ b.r.
Canvas, 34×55 1/2 (86·5×141).
Tate Gift 1894.
Exh: R.A., 1880 (590); Opening of the New Art Gallery, Blackburn, August–October 1894 (109).
Lit: F. G. Stephens, ‘Walter Dendy Sadler’ in Art Journal, 1895, p.197; E. T. Cook, A Popular Handbook to the Tate Gallery, 1898, p.179.
Repr: Academy Notes, 1880, p.55 (woodcut); Art Journal, 1888, p.212 (etching by F. Slocombe).

The picture shows a group of Capuchin friars fishing. This was one of the artist's favourite pastimes and he painted several pictures on this theme. The following year he exhibited ‘It is always the largest Fish that's lost’ and in 1882 the companion to N01555, ‘Friday’, now in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. This shows Dominican monks in their refectory eating a rich variety of sea food. According to E. T. Cook (loc. cit) N01555 was one of the three first pictures bought by Henry Tate and was the first monk picture painted by Sadler in England. ‘The background (he says) was made up from studies I had painted in Germany with the help of some foreground studies made in the previous summer at Hurley on the Thames.’ Actually, the first picture of monks fishing was ‘Steady Brother, Steady’, exhibited at the R.A. in 1875, but this may have been painted in Germany. In the Short Guide to the Tate Gallery published by the Sunday Times 1897, N01555 is called ‘Tomorrow will be Friday’, and it is still sometimes known by that title.

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

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