Thursday, August 26, 2010

Frederick Daniel Hardy - After the Party

Price Realized £23,900

signed and indistinctly dated 'FD Hardy 1871' (lower right)
oil on canvas
27¼ x 42 7/8 in. (69.2 x 108.9 cm.)

London, Royal Academy, 1876, no. 916.

Sympathetic depictions of the plight of servants, exhausted by long hours undertaking hard, physical work, were rare in Victorian art. Cooks were often caricatured as being obese and slovenly, while maids were lampooned for trying to emulate their employers dress and habits. Hardy's empathy is touching, and the picture is a departure from his usual humourous scenes of children engaged in adult activities such as Playing at Doctors (Victoria and Albert Museum). Hardy spent much of his working life in Cranbrook, Kent, and was a member of the artistic colony that included Thomas Webster and George Bernard O'Neill.

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