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  • Title
    [Child in carrying cloak, ca. 1850]
  • Call number
    ML 1351
    Status: On display – Paintings from the Collection, Room 3, West Wall, no. 209
  • Level of description
  • Date

    [ca. 1850]
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
  • Physical Description
    1 painting - oil on board - 30.8 x 40.8 cm. (image within mount, site) ; 32.2 x 42.1 cm. (mount) ; 46.5 x 56 cm. (frame)
  • Scope and Content
    The painting depicts an interior view of a drawing room, with a child resting on a sofa, and two framed landscape paintings hung in the background. The child, who is about seven months old, wears a blue dress edged in lace underneath a carrying cloak of blue fabric decorated with an ermine cuff and trim. In rectangular wooden frame with gilt inner border and glass front.
  • Copying Conditions
    Out of copyright: Artist died before 1955
    Please acknowledge:: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
  • General note

    The painting is not signed nor dated.

    The clothing worn by the child is expensive and, combined with the opulent furnishings, reflects the socio-economic position of the family who commissioned this painting.

    The pose of the child suggests and is indicative of momento mori objects created as remembrances of our mortality. Painted portraits of young children and babies wearing these cloaks are rare as indeed are death portraits of babies and children, hitherto mainly the domain of photography. The painting probably dates from the 1850's and is unusual because it departs from the context of conventional portraiture depicting a young child without other family members. Additionally, if the child in this portrait is deceased, the theme is unusual for colonial art. The painting is therefore significant as a comment on nineteenth century attitudes towards childhood and infant mortality. -- Curator of Pictures (Research), Sept. 2004
    Digital order no:a128980
  • Topic
  • Exhibited in

    Paintings from the Collection - State Library of New South Wales (2018)
  • Open Rosetta viewer

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