Children Playing on a Farm Cart

Children Playing on a Farm Cart
British School

The depiction of a farm cart, wagon or wain has enjoyed a particular resonance in British culture for over 190 years. In 1821 Constable first showed The Hay Wain and, although it was initially more appreciated in France – it received a gold medal award in the 1824 Paris Salon – its popularity in England was secured when it was donated to the National Gallery in 1886. It has been in the public consciousness since. Constable not only adopted the theme at this early date, he was also using the painting to bear the weight of his anxiety about the rapid changes which were occurring in the landscape, changes which were a consequence of enclosure and the transformation of commoners' rights.

This evocative sketch by an unknown artist, possibly executed in the early years of the 20th century - in a rural 'colony' of artists, Staithes or Cullercoats, perhaps? - portrays, in a very modest way, a similar vision of rural life; a life that appeared to have altered little over the generations but was now seriously under threat.

Pencil and watercolour on paper
Size Unframed:
6ins x 9¼ins
15.5cms x 23.5cms
Size Framed:
14½ins x 17¼ins
37cms x 44cms
None visible

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