'Fantine', Margaret Hall, 1886

A elderly woman leans over a small sleeping child. They appear to be under a spotlight.

Oil on canvas, 157 x 116.2cm

Accession Number WAG2833

This is a portrait of the literary character Fantine, who featured in Victor Hugo's novel 'Les Misérables'. Dismissed from her job because of her illegitimate child, she is soon forced into prostitution to survive.

This striking and sympathetic image shows Fantine protectively watching over her sleeping daughter. The dark surroundings and empty bottle hint at the dangers and troubles that await both mother and child in the future.