BIGG, After William Redmore (1755-1828)
Sunday morning A Cottage Family going to church
London: W.R. Bigg, 4 April 1795. Stipple engraving, by William Nutter, after Bigg. Image size (including text): 18 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 20 7/8 x 24 5/16 inches.
An excellent stipple engraving depicting rural piety in 18th-century England
The image shows a family outside the door of their cottage making last minute preparations before setting off for morning service at the local church. The wife makes sure that the grandmother is comfortable on the family donkey: the grandmother holds her youngest grandchild in front of her. The father bends to talk to two of his younger children. All are dressed in their 'best' and look slightly uncomfortable. Only the second youngest, a daughter, seems unconcerned as she concentrates on annoying the family dog with a short stick.
William Bigg "was a pupil of Edward Penny, R.A., and by choice of his subjects at least a faithful follower of his master. In 1778 he entered the Academy schools. Bigg delighted in depicting... children. The first of many engaging works of this class was exhibited in 1778, 'Schoolboys giving Charity to a Blind Man.' It was followed a year later by one similar, 'A Lady and her Children relieving a Distressed Cottager.' Besides these his 'Palemon and Lavinia,' the 'Shipwrecked Sailor Boy,' and 'Youths relieving a Blind Man' were highly popular works, and were all engraved. Two good pictures from his easel are preserved in the Cottonian Museum at Plymouth.... by choice of subjects and general manner of treatment he would rightly be classed with Wheatley and Morland. He was highly popular in his day, and the best engravers were employed upon his work." (DNB).