The Wedding Morning

LL 3124


A bride is preparing for her wedding in a lower-middle class interior. The subject, and the way the light comes from the back of the picture and shines at the spectator leaving many of the figures in shadow, identifies this as a Newlyn School painting. Lever regarded this type of realist painting as only suitable for reproduction in advertisements and commented, "only a moderate picture but very suitable for a soap advertisement". The emphasis on new and expensive clothing in a modest interior would encourage the purchase of soap, even among the relatively poor. When Lever used this work in an advertisement, the clock on the mantlepiece and cup and saucer on the table were replaced by bars of Sunlight Soap. MH Dixon noted that this painting was in effect an 'essay in lighting', with the 'contre jour' arrangement so popular with the Newlyn School. The critic of the Athenaeum, however, argued that: 'Mr. Bacon has adopted a hackneyed if artistic French motive at second hand and has so to say translated it into English'. The same critic went on to praise both the design and the faces and figures of the bride's companions and dress maker.