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George Hicks, 1824–1914

The Sinews of Old England

Watercolor, graphite, gouache, gum arabic, and scraping out on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 29 1/2 × 20 7/8 inches (74.9 × 53 cm), Frame: 43 x 33 1/2 x 3 3/4 inches (109.2 x 85.1 x 9.5 cm)

Signed and dated in brown watercolor, lower left: "G.E.Hicks. 1857"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Friends of British Art Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
baby | door | family | genre subject | girl | home | laborer | love | pickaxe | portrait | sinews | worker
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

George Elgar Hicks presents an idealized version of an English working-class family. With a look of steadfast determination, a heroic navvy sets out for his day of manual labor, his shovel hung from the pickax resting on his shoulder. His adoring wife sees him off before attending to the neat cottage behind them, complete with a willowpattern dinner service on the shelves. At the navvy’s feet is his son, still too young to wear trousers, whose toy shovel implies he will follow in his father’s footsteps.

Gallery label for Connections (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-05-26 - 2011-09-11)

A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Recent Acquisitions - Summer 2005 (Yale Center for British Art, 2006-05-19 - 2006-08-14) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Andrea Korda, Printing and painting the news in Victorian London : the Graphic and social realism, 1869-1891, Ashgate Publishing, Burlington, 2014, pp. 122-24, 174, 177, fig. 4.2, ND467.5.V52 K67 2014 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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