And When Did You Last See Your Father? British School, late 19th century after William Frederick Yeames's painting, 1878 oil painting on canvas, framed framed dimensions: 34 x 54 inches Superb antique oil painting painted on a very large scale. The painting is based after the earlier work which was painted by William Frederick Yeames in 1878 and now resides in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England. The painting shows a fictional event from the English Civil War (1642 - 1646) depicting a Royalist house under occupation by Parliamentarians. The young boy is being interrogated as to the whereabouts of the master of the house. Behind him, a soldier gently holds the boy's crying sister. To the left can be seen the children's mother, her fear and anxiety at the boy's possible answer written in her face. To the Victorians, children were often seen as ideals of truth and honesty. The suspense in this work comes from the dilemma the boy now finds himself in: to tell the truth and possibly endanger his father, or lie and maybe save him. Yeames was inspired to paint this scene by the innocent and candid nature of his nephew who lived with him. The boy also acted as a model for the painting. The work received favourable reviews when first exhibited and its fame and popularity continued to grow from then on. It has been widely reproduced, often in history textbooks, as well as being the subject of a popular song in the 1890s, numerous political cartoons and even a waxwork tableau at Madame Tussaud's in London. The artist has captured lovely details and painted the work with very good quality. Condition report: The paintings condition can only be described as "intriguing".... there are four sections which make up the entirety of the painting - all joined together but with a small gap between each one. The paintings support is either canvas or leather - it is very hard to tell (leather was often used as a support). How or why this has occurred is a complete mystery and one we may never know the answer for. To us, it adds to the appeal of the paintings history, as there is no doubt a good reason for the four sections. There is considerable overpaint to the work, throughout the entire painting. Generally, it is very presentable, with just a few surface scuffs and minor markings.
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