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Sweethearts and Wives

John Ingle Lee, 1860

WAG 9755

About this object

The view in this picture is from the Liverpool dock shore looking towards Birkenhead and Tranmere. St Mary's Church in Birkenhead can be clearly seen as can the, still extant, windmill on Bidston Hill and another above Tranmere. Although the architecture is a rather generalised mixture of chimneys and houses some sense the terraces of Hamilton Square in Birkenhead is conveyed.

Dockside parting scenes were popular pictorial subjects during the 1850s. The most famous of these was a picture by Henry Nelson O'Neill, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1857, entitled 'Eastwood Ho August 1857'. It showed soldiers leaving for India after the Indian Mutiny. An engraving after O'Neill's picture was published in 1860 and may have part-prompted Lee's choice of subject.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    John Ingle Lee (British, born:1839, died:1882)
  • Date
  • Materials
    Oil; Canvas
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 84.5 cm x 71.3 cm
  • Physical description
    A farewell dock scene. In the centre a sailor in a rowing boat on the right embraces his mother who is standing on the dock on the left wearing a green head scarf and red dress. On the left a young sailor stands with two young ladies and a young boy is leaning on barrels in the foreground. There are three sailors are in the rowing boat, two are seated and one stands holding an ore on the far right. River and ship can be seen in the middle distance with land beyond.
  • Related people
    John Ingle Lee (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 9755; Number on Content Team Access database: 126
  • Credit line
    Purchased by the Walker Art Gallery with the assistance of the Art Fund, the V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the Friends of Merseyside County Museums & Art Galleries and private donations in 1981.
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 06
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: [AL]LSOPP
    Inscription method: Paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Image (top of barrel)
  • Inscription text: 18 JJL 60 (initials in monogram)
    Inscription method: Red paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
  • Inscription text: MAJESTIC
    Inscription method: Paint
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Image (on sailors cap)
  • Inscription text: (remains of old labels)
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note: Have been removed
    Inscription location: Back; Frame; Upper centre
  • Inscription text: 14886 NN
    Inscription method: Black crayon
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Back; Frame
  • Inscription text: To Sheffield Exhibition1968
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location:
Object view = Fine Art
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