One of the Family
Cotman painted this romantic scene of rustic domestic life at the Black Boy Inn at Hurley on Thames. It shows a farmer (posed by the inn keeper) returning home for his meal, while his horse leans through the doorway to be fed by the farmer's wife. This ever-popular work was the first important painting by Cotman to be acquired by a public institution when the Walker Art Gallery bought it in 1880. Liverpool critics at the time praised the work for its cheerful sentiment and argued that it commended good treatment for animals.