The Village Pastor

WAG 227


This is a sketch for the painting 'The Village Pastor', which William Powell Frith (1819 - 1909) exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1845. It is based on a scene from the poem 'The Deserted Village' by Oliver Goldsmith (1730 - 1774): "The service past, around the pious man, With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran; E'en children followed with endearing wile, And plucked his gown to share the good man's smile" This painting has also been known as 'Dr Primrose in the Churchyard'. Dr. Primrose is a character in Goldsmith's novel 'The Vicar of Wakefield', one of the most widely read novels of the Victorian era.