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Harriette Sutcliffe

Monday, 22nd August, 2011

“After the Bath”, oil on canvas, 1890, by Harriette Sutcliffe “After the Bath”, oil on canvas, 1890, by Harriette Sutcliffe

The 10th in the series of articles by the Regional Art Gallery’s education officer, Catherine Farry, about the artists who painted the pictures in the city’s collection

 Little is known about Miss Harriette F. A. Sutcliffe although we do know that she lived and worked in Hampstead, England. 

She was a painter of portraits and genre and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1881 and 1899. She remained active as an artist until 1907 and died in 1922. 

Sutcliffe’s favourite subjects were children, especially with an emphasis on innocence and beauty, a popular topic in Victorian England not only in painting but also in literature. 

The concept of childhood changed considerably over the 19th Century. Whereas previously children had been exposed to the hardships and responsibilities of adult life, the Victorians believed that childhood should be a protected state of innocence and dependence. 

This idea was probably brought about as a reaction to the severe hardships suffered by many working class children at the time, although it is a concept that we have maintained to the present day. 

“After the Bath” was donated to the city by George McCulloch in 1904, the year that the present art collection was first begun. 

The Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery is the oldest in country New South Wales. The painting is one of the most popular works in the gallery.


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