Encouraging! Farmer's Wife (after a long look): "Now, that 'on't be any Place hereabouts, I s'pose, Sir!"

Charles Keene in Punch for 31 May 1877 (page 243) makes one of of the periodical's frequent double-edged satirical comments on the way the British public — here represented by a member of the lower orders — judges or misunderstands works of art and architecture. Most of them mock the middle-class audience in cartoons that show philistines in action, failing to recognize a well-known subject, or the pretensions of the aesthetes — and sometimes both. Occasionally, Keene and DuMaurier mock the ignarance of servants at great country houses. In this case, however, the farmer's wife shows the artist's plein air painting to be a failure.

[Scanned image (from a volume in the Athenæum Club Library) and text by George P. Landow This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

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Last modified 3 September 2007