Silkworms (1877)

Silkworms (1877)

Silkworms (1877) (c) Christ’s Hospital Foundation; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Medium: oil

Size: 40 x 25 cm

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1877

Current owner: Christ’s Hospital School, Horsham, Surrey

Showing the boys of the Bluecoat School on Newgate in London, this picture was offered by Sotheby’s to the school’s successor, Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham, Surrey, in around the year 2000, and now forms part of the school’s collection. It is known by them as ‘Christ’s Hospital Children in London Quad’.

The Academy, 14 April 1877:

Mr Eyre Crowe has finished his dainty little picture of Christ’s Hospital boys examining their silk-worms – trophies of an expedition to Covent Garden – and this he has touched with his wonted expressive finish, so distinct from the finish that obtrudes itself but does not elucidate its subject. 

Athenaeum, 19 May 1877:

It exhibits, with rare solidity, delicacy and precision – some hardness and coldness to boot – a group of Blue-coat boys gathered about their silk-bearing treasures, and on a bench; a frame on which bright gold-coloured silk has been wound is on the ground on our left; one boy looks at a cocoon, one, with books, looks on. The intensity of the attitudes and expressions is a characteristic of the highest value. It is one of the gems of this year.

Saturday review of politics, literature, science and art 2 June 1877:

Mr. Eyre Crowe’s “Silkworms” (184) is an elaborate and uninteresting representation of a group of Bluecoat boys excited over those creatures for which schoolboys have a strange fondness.

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