'The Wedding Morning' 1892
John Henry Frederick Bacon (1866 – 1913)
Oil on canvas 118 x 163cm
Leverhulme bought this painting from the 1892 Royal Academy private view, specifically for use as an advertisement for Sunlight Soap. It shows a young bride, preparing for her wedding day and surrounded, as is every new bride, by well-wishers and curious onlookers.
The painting received mixed reviews at its first showing. It was described by critics as both ‘an essay in lighting’ and as being ‘hackneyed’. Lever himself described it as ‘only a moderate picture, but very suitable for a soap advertisement’.
In the advertisement, bars of Sunlight Soap were substituted for the clock on the mantelpiece and for the cup and saucer on the table.