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Oil Painting - The Children's Story Book

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1892P25
Collection:Fine Art Paintings and Sculpture
Date:1840 - 1890

Maker Information

Artist:Sophie Anderson - View biography for Sophie Anderson


Sophie Anderson was one of the most successful women artists of her day, specialising in portraiture and scenes of everyday, domestic life.Here a group of country children are reading from a story book. They are poor, judging by the holes in the boy's socks, but happy. True to stereotype, the boy makes mischief while his more passive female companions either read or listen to the story. One of them holds a baby an adopts a supervisory maternal stance. She is part of an extended rustic family and will no doubt one day become mother of a large family herself. The continuation of the status quo seems assured.This sunlit scene of childhood merriment contains the essential ingredients of the nineteenth century rustic idyll: the association of the English countryside with innocence and old-fashioned values. The formula was popular in an age of rapid industrialisation.

Bequeathed by Mrs. Turton, 1892.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Medium:Oil on canvas.


Height:1003 mm
Width:1257 mm