'The Jew's Harp', David Wilkie

Seated man plays Jews harp to two young children and a dog

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A Jew’s Harp is a small lyre-shaped musical instrument held in the teeth and struck with the finger.  A man plays the harp to two children and a dog, in a cottage interior. The artist was a Scotsman, who had great success with paintings of rustic life.

Through subtly capturing the minute details of gesture and  expression, he was able to suggest character and  situation in a memorable and natural-seeming way.

Artwork Details

Medium and Support: Oil on panel
Date: about 1808
Accession No: WAG 316