Daily Bread

Thomas Benjamin Kennington (1856-1916)

Oil on canvas


1016 x 762 mm

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Image by Public Catalogue Foundation. Kind Permission of National Museums Liverpool.

The title of this painting comes from the Lord's Prayer, specifically from the line, "Give us this day our daily bread." The implication in the Bible is that God confers spiritual nourishment. But before that can help us, Kennington suggests, material sustenance is needed. This boy, who looks so pale and languid, eking out his one miserable crust (the rest of it lies beside him on the stone ledge), is signally lacking in that. Like The Pinch of Poverty, this would have been one of the works commissioned from — or intended by — Kennington to tug at the heartstrings and conscience, and encourage charity. — Jacqueline Banerjee [Click on the image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.]