The Roundhead (1859)

Medium: oil

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1859

‘Few of the Puritans, what degree soever they were of, wore their hair long enough to cover their eares…From this custom of wearing their haires, that name of Roundhead became the scornful terme given to the whole Parliament party.’

Athenaeum, 21 May 1859:

…His other picture, though dry enough, and very full of the over-padded lay figure, is clever in expression, and worth juicier painting and a richer surface. It is called The Roundhead (921) and represents a new convert having his love-locks cut off, to show his connexion with the austere sect. The barber’s ascetic, saturnine face is admirable, – the victim’s by no means bad; still, altogether, this is rather a hide-bound chip of a picture.

Art Journal, June 1864:

A strikingly humorous work, suggested by a passage in the Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson. One of Cromwell’s Ironsides is seated in a barber’s shop, having his head cropped to the recognised pattern; his wife and child accompany him. The subject may not be what is called ‘High Art’, but the treatment must be admitted as ‘Good Art’.

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