'Boulter's Lock, Sunday Afternoon', 1885-97
Edward John Gregory
Accession Number LL3149
Boating on the Thames was a late Victorian and Edwardian craze common to most social classes. Included here are the ‘new woman’ energetically paddling her own canoe, the fashionable young lady in the foreground, the artist himself reclining in his boat at the extreme right and the enigmatic young woman peering uncertainly forward from under her umbrella at the front of her boat.
The energetic and the idle, the relaxed and the anxious, all appear in this ‘River of Life’ of high Victorian leisure. The composition with its high view point and boats arbitrarily cut off at the edges of the painting reflects advanced European practice of the time.
An extended study of 'Boulter's Lock, Sunday Afternoon' is available online as part of our picture of the month series.