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oil painting

© Geffrye Museum, London

‘The Lion and the Mouse: Sweet Mercy is Nobility’s True Badge’, oil on canvas by Rebecca Solomon, monogrammed, 1865, in a gilt frame with ridged edges, thought to be original.
Object type: oil painting
Object number: 30/1980

More Information:

Detailed Description: +/-

Title/Model: The Lion and the Mouse: Sweet Mercy is Nobility's True Badge (title assigned by artist)
Physical Description:
This oil painting on canvas is a genre scene set within a domestic interior. The painting is framed in a moulded giltwood frame and glazed.
Materials & technique: oil on canvas in a moulded giltwood frame
Dimensions: Height 66.8cm (canvas)
Width 81.5cm (canvas)
Height 86.1cm (frame)
Width 99.4cm (frame)
Height 66.6cm (sight)
Width 79.8cm (sight)

History: +/-

Date: 1865 (painted)
Period: Victorian (1837-1901)
Production Note:
The painting is monogrammed and dated.
Artist/Maker Names: Rebecca Solomon (artist)
Object History:
This painting was exhibited with a companion piece entitled The Lion and Mouse: TheFriend in Need at the Royal Academy, London in 1865. The name refers to the Aesop fable. Both pictures explore the confrontation between the lion (the landowner) and the mouse (innocent female child) and the moral use of power. The picture promotes the contemporary idea that women were vessels of virtue in an increasingly inegalitarian society directed by masculinity.

This painting is by Rebecca Solomon, the sister of artists Abraham and Simeon Solomon. She studied at Spitalfields school of Design and under her brother Abraham. She is best known for her historical and genre scenes which she exhibitied at the Royal Academy from 1852 to 1869 and at the British Institution and Suffolk Street gallery.

This painting was exhibited at the Solomon exhibition held at the Geffrye Museum, London between 08/11/1985 and 31/12/1985 and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery between 18/01/1986 and 09/03/1986 and at the Women's Art Show 1550-1970 at Nottingham Castle Museum

The picture frame is thought to be original to the painting.
Display Labels:
Label text, Geffrye Museum, date unknown:
The Lion and the Mouse: Sweet Mercy is Nobility's True Badge. Rebecca Solomon, 1865. Oil on canvas.
Solomon: A Family of Painters. Abraham Solomon, Rebecca Solomon, Simeon Solomon, (London: Inner London Education Authority, 1985)

Painting, The Lion in Love, Abraham Solomon, (London: Sotheby's, 12/11/1992), Lot 78.

Oil paintings in public ownership in London: North & East. Coordinator: Elizabeth Heath; Photographers: Doug Atfield and Andy Johnson (London: Public Catalogue Foundation, 2013).

Subject/Content: +/-

Content Description:
This painting depicts a young man who has been caught poaching and brought before the landowner from whom he has stolen. The young poacher stands near the centre of the painting. He is dressed in a sailor suit and is hanging his head in shame. His mother stands beside him, on the left hand side of the painting, weeping. She is holding his hand and, with the other hand, holding a handkerchief up to her face. The gamekeeper who apprehended the poacher can be seen standing behind him with a dead rabbit hanging from one hand. On the right of the painting the landowner is seated in an armchair. He is pointing a finger towards the poacher and his expression is extremely stern. A young, blond haired girl has put her arms around his neck and is looking into his face with a pleading expression. She is apparently asking for mercy for the poacher and his mother. Some details of the interior can be seen in the background: there is a bookcase, a picture hanging on one wall, which is decorated in a dark green colour, and the edge of a curtain can be seen just behind the landowner's chair.
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