WARD, William after William Redmore BIGG
Morning after the Storm. The husband's return... Le Matin devenu Calme. Le retour du mari
London: Published by William Redmore Bigg, March 1798. Colour printed mezzotint with additional hand-colouring. In good condition with the exception of some neat repairs to the plate mark. Image size (including text): 17 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 18 x 23 5/8 inches.
A lovely genre picture after the celebrated artist William Redmore Bigg which demonstrates familial love.
In this excellent colour mezzotint, William Ward's fine engraving conveys the charm of Bigg's painting, and illustrates a sensibility and concern for familial warmth that has, to a definite degree, since been lost. Bigg's early Romantic narratives anticipate the "good" people in Dickens' novels for whom familial affection and constancy are ultimate values, unattainable to those in whom personal greed and envy predominates. Bigg has selected his moment well, The fisherman's family has endured hours of imagining and not knowing his fate, listening to the storm rage outside. Now he is safely home and all is well. The family gathers happily but quietly around him, his wife and eldest son help him remove his sea-drenched top-coat. Another son kneels at his feet with a boot-jack. Two more children warm some dry clothes over the fire. The youngest daughter watches the baby whilst her father's needs are dealt with. With skill and beauty Bigg's expresses this happy release from anxiety.