Richard Rothwell, Irish, 1800-1868
Title: The Young Mother's Pastime
Date: 1844
Medium: Oil on canvas
93 x 79 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1942
Object Number: NGI.1102
DescriptionThe joy and delight of the mother are evident in this charming picture. Seated, supposedly outdoors under the shade of a tree, she holds her bonny infant aloft with pride. The fact that it may be a portrait of the artists'a wife and first child adds to the picture's appeal. Rothwell had married in 1842, and exhibited the picture two years later at the Royal Academy in London.
Rothwell's early art trainign was at the Dublin Society Schools. He moved to London in 1829 where he quickly established a succesful portrait practice. His work was much admired by Edwin Landseer and Thomas Lawrence, who prized the richness of his palette and his ability to paint flesh that equalled the skill of the Old Masters. When Lawrence died Rothwell inherited his practice. He spent some time in Italy, and on his return to London found it difficult to regain his popularity as a portraitist. The rest of his career was one of disappointment and a shortage of patronage.

(National Gallery of Ireland: Essential Guide, 2008)
ProvenancePurchased by the R.I. Art Union, and given as first prize to P. Wallis, Killiney (by 1913); purchased, Miss Waters, 1942
Exhibition HistoryRoyal Academy of Arts, London, 1844

Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 1845

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