barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


John Leech (1817-1864)

A Bracing Day at the Seaside

British

Watercolour over pencil

252 x 350 mm

 

A family group struggle against the wind to walk along Scarborough Pier, whilst large waves break behind them.

Leech’s characterisation of the holiday spirit is demonstrated by the ecstatic children in the foreground, the grimacing female guiding them, and the striding determination of the central man. Women wear the fashionable round hat, holding a cord to prevent it flying off in high wind. During the Victorian period seaside holidays had become popular with the advent of railways. Sea bathing at this time was seen as peculiar; instead a brisk walk by the sea was recommended.

Signed I.I.:J.L

Purchased from Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi, 1944, for £25 (No. 44.9)

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