- Frederic George Stephens 1827–1907
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 470 × 641 mm
frame: 680 × 842 × 56 mm
- Bequeathed by H.F. Stephens 1932
Stephens painted this in the first year of the Crimean War (1853-6) and the major world event plays out in the setting of a Victorian nursery. The child pauses playing to reach towards his mother as she reacts to a letter which brings bad news from the conflict. Stephens encloses the figures in a curved frame like a traditional Madonna and Child and employs everyday objects, such as the military toys, as symbols. Stephen’s extremely detailed Pre-Raphaelite style was time-consuming and the picture was never finished.
Gallery label, August 2018
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