WESTALL, After Richard (1765-1836)
Girl and Pigs
London: J. & J. Boydell, 1 May 1802. Stipple engraving, printed in colours, with touches of hand-colouring, by Ogborne & Gaugain. Image size (including text): 9 1/4 x 12 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 12 x 14 1/4 inches approx. Gold leaf frame.
A charmingly observed rural scene, largely colour-printed.
A fine example of a stipple-engraved coloured print based on one of Westall's charming watercolours. Westall was at his best in watercolour, and was the leader of a reform in figure-painting in this medium... The brilliancy of his colouring was considered novel and astonishing in his own day... A large number of Westall's rustic subjects were engraved, such as Rural Contemplation and Rural Music, by T. Gaugain, 1801; The Sad Story and The Woodcutter and Cowboy, by John Ogborne, 1802; A Storm in Harvest, 1802; and Reapers, 1805, by Robert Mitchell Meadows. (DNB). During the early days of the Romantic era, there was a great upsurge of interest in rural life, both in France and England. This was largely a middle class idealization due to its loss of contact with the natural world, and it has become a recurrent theme ever since. The little girl pouring water for the pigs is not at all offended by her menial task, she is enjoying her role in providing nourishment of the obviously eager pigs; and in her white and red clothing and pink cheeks, she looks rather cherubic.