English, 1747 - 1801

Return from the Fair

Date: 1791

Francis Wheatley liked to tell a good story. He used strong lighting on the main characters in his paintings and relied on their gestures to make a point. This painting and its companion—Return from the Market—tell the story of two very different families. Here a fashionable young father delights his family with lengths of ribbon purchased at the fair. Meanwhile their servant labors at the right. The father returning from the market has likely been engaged in buying and selling food for his family; he has no money for fripperies such as ribbon.

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Medium: Oil on canvas

Inscriptions: Signed and dated indistinctly on barrel: “F. Wheatley, 1791”

Dimensions: H: 19 x W: 25 1/2 in.

Place: England

Accession: 0190.2

Collection: Julian Wood Glass Jr. Collection

Category: Paintings - Subject Pictures

Tags: Oil , Canvas , Fair

Purchased July 3, 1975 from Newhouse Galleries. From the collections of Mr. W.K. D'Arcy, Bylaugh Park, Norfolk, England, 1809; the D'Arcy family, Bylaugh Park, Norfolk, England; and a private collection, London, England. Recorded in "F. Wheatley, R.A., His Life and Works" by W. Roberts, London, England, 1910, pages 13 and 14.