Picking Stones, Warham (Jim Powell's farm)

Painting, 1905

This simple but powerful image shows two bent and hunched figures working in an open field, with a strong tilted line dividing the land from the sky. The composition and the theme of the peasant at work is inspired by a painting entitled 'the Glearners' (1857) by the Fench artist Millet, with which Brian was familiar. This picture showed poor agricultural workers intent on their toil in a simple setting. Like Millet Brian does not reveal the facial features of his subjects. The women were Gypsies who lived nearby, probably in a camp on Green Lane on the outskirts of the city. The local Gypsies supplied the surrounding farms with seasonal workers, male and female. The women wore long skirts and hob-nail boots. Here they are gatheing stones into sack-cloth 'aprons' tied around their waists, in order to allow the crops to grow unhindered. A pile of gathered stones sits in the right foreground ready to be carted away and used for building farm tracks.

  • Acc No: 1975-7/532
  • Date: 1905
  • Period: 20th
  • Collection: Fine Art
  • Technique: Painting
  • Medium: Watercolour
  • Creator: HATTON, Brian
  • Name:
Picking Stones, Warham (Jim Powell's farm)

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