Returning from Church (1869)

Medium: oil

Exhibited: Dudley Gallery, 1869

According to his diary entries, Crowe based this painting on a sketch made while on holiday in Germany in June 1843. He refers to it variously as ‘Going to Church’ and ‘Returning from Church’, not settling on the final title until it was submitted for exhibition at the Dudley Gallery at the beginning of October 1869.

Athenaeum, 30 October 1869:

… a farmer and his ‘womenkind’ going home – the former is in a meditatative mood, smoking, and moved by the sermon of the day. The flimsy background here – a landscape in crude tints – is evidently but temporary. The figures are striking in their completeness; the sound fruit of sound studies, – solid, and not easily exhausted of its interest.

Art Journal, December 1869:

Mr. Crowe’s small picture, ‘Returning from Church’, is one of his very best products: the artist – while here, as ever, clever – does not overstep the simplicity of nature.

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