Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Augustus Edwin Mulready - Uncared for

signed and dated 'A E. Mulready./1871.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
101 x 76cm (39 3/4 x 29 15/16in).

Sold for £10,800 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

London, Royal Academy, 1871, no. 455

Of all the artists who engaged with the field of social realist genre painting in the nineteenth century A. E. Mulready's paintings have aged better than most. The slightly harder edge of his works with an undercurrent of social commentary separates them from the majority of Victorian genre scenes addressing childhood. The narrative element to his work and applicability to contemporary social issues are particularly evident in the following lots and their Dickensian theme of urban poverty. The subject of childhood is central to understanding Mulready's oeuvre. What was once dismissed as Victorian sentimentality can now be seen as a genre charged with a socially reflective mood and personal circumstance all underpinned by a rigorous technique.

Nice ironic use of the poster on the wall

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