Prayer (1877)

Medium: oil

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1877

The Academy, 14 April 1877:

Mr Eyre Crowe A.R.A. will exhibit, we find, at the Royal Academy, the four works which have recently occupied him, of which one is a quite important work and the rest small cabinet pictures. Mr Eyre Crowe has been to Rouen, and has turned to very various account his studies in the churches there… Prayer, is gravely picturesque. A girl, low white-capped, with such head-gear as is still in vogue in that part of Normandy, kneels on a tall-backed, low cane-seated chair, before some shrine in a little side chapel of that same Saint Maclou which we see more largely in the first picture. It is a pleasant figure, agreeably lighted, and the interior is cosy: the score of votive offerings hung on the altar all telling of the chapel’s present and daily use, and the quaint or graceful, if debased, woodwork of Louis Quatorze filling in, by means of the range of confessional, the lower part of the chapel wall with homely forms and low and pleasant tones of rich brown. Higher up on the wall, sunlight streams against the surface: its rays being useful to the picture, not only as colour, but as lines telling in the composition… Mr Crowe is very much to be congratulated on a series of works of which all are marked by excellent skill, and one by high power.

Athenaeum, 5 May 1877:

Prayer (283) shows a chapel with a woman lost in devotion, a capital piece of effect.

Athenaeum, 26 May 1877:

Mr E. Crowe’s Prayer (283) is not so good as his other works. A French girl is depicted kneeling before a crucifix in a side chapel of a large church; her action is full of expression, her figure is neatly, soundly and firmly painted; the whole is solid and full of light, but the effect is hard, the colour is cold, and there is need of breadth in many parts.

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