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William Mulready, 1786–1863
Drawing for The First Voyage
ca. 1833
Materials & Techniques:
Red chalk, white chalk, white gouache, and graphite on moderately thick, slightly textured, beige wove paper
Sheet: 19 1/8 x 23 5/8 inches (48.6 x 60 cm), Frame: 26 5/8 x 31 1/2 inches (67.6 x 80 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
baby | children | family | floating | genre subject | leisure | river
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IIIF Manifest:

The great early-Victorian genre painter William Mulready frequently made elaborate full-size chalk studies, which he called cartoons, for his paintings. These were prized as works of art in their own right. This “cartoon” was exhibited to acclaim at the Royal Academy in 1849, long after the oil painting (Bury Art Gallery) for which it had provided the model was shown at the Royal Academy (1833). An apprehensive child is launched on a stream in a washtub supported by older members of his family. Perhaps this is the first voyage of a future sailor or even an admiral of the fleet. Typically for Mulready, the humor of the subject is balanced with the classical gravitas with which the artist has treated the figures.

Gallery label for A Decade of Gifts and Acquisitions (Yale Center for British Art, 2017-06-01 - 2017-08-13)

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

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