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Thomas Webster RA, The Early Lesson

The Early Lesson, 1846

Thomas Webster RA (1800 - 1886)

RA Collection: Art

Webster trained at the Royal Academy Schools from 1821 and gained great popularity in his lifetime for scenes of contemporary rural, and in particular, cottage life. These genre paintings were widely reproduced in the form of steel–engravings.

Living in Kensington, Webster was a close friend of Mulready, from 1833. They both shared an interest in subjects concerning childhood and education and were influenced by Dutch and Flemish 17th Century artists like David Teniers and Jan Steen. Webster’s view of rustic life eschewed any vulgarity. Like much of his work, this simple homely scene shows a poorly furnished interior with light spilling from an open window, a common device of Dutch genre paintings. Despite this being a family of modest means, Webster emphasizes the importance of early education.

Object details

The Early Lesson
Thomas Webster RA (1800 - 1886)
Object type
Oil on canvas

521 mm x 419 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Thomas Webster RA accepted 1846

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