What Cheer Day is around the corner, and while we won’t have the delight of the babies this time, when browsing the BBC’s Your Paintings site, I found this painting by William Redmore Biggs. It pretty well captures the level of activity I’d like to bring to the museum–or at least a level just short of spilled ink.
As always, I’m looking for what working women wore, and in this image, I think we see the mistress of a dame school with her charges, who have clearly been romping in earnest.
The details abound, from the portfolio on the mantle to the baize on the floor and the ink spots on the little girls apron. The room is simply furnished, but we get a sense of domestic and dress details. The shortest girl in the front trio is disheveled, her sash undone and her gown slipping from her shoulders. (What a romp they’ve had!)