Facebook
Twitter

Homeless and Hungry People in Britain in Victorian Times

Homeless and Hungry People in Britain in Victorian Times Visual Arts Victorian Age Nineteenth Century Life Ethics Social Studies

Luke Fildes first had the idea for this painting when he drew an article-illustration called "Houseless and Hungry."  He'd been commissioned to provide an image for the story which featured the "Houseless Poor Act."

Charles Dickens saw the original drawing which greatly impressed him.  He later asked Fildes to illustrate The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  (Fildes had completed twelve illustrations for that book by the time Dickens died, in 1870.)

Fildes knew that his drawing was impactful and planned to use it as the basis for a painting.  When he created the oil-on-canvas, he made it eight feet wide.

"Houseless and Hungry" thus became "Applicants for Admission to a Casual Ward" which Fildes completed in 1874. 

When Fildes exhibited his painting at the Royal Academy, in 1874, he selected words for the catalogue which were written by his friend, Charles Dickens (in a letter to John Forster).  Perhaps the scene outside the Whitechapel Workhouse, in 1855, equally applied to the scene depicted in this painting:

Dumb, wet, silent horrors!  Sphinxes set up against that dead wall, and none likely to be at the pains of solving them until the general overthrow.

The painting is now owned by the Tate Gallery, in London.

Click on the image for a full-page view.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
1 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 24, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016


Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

PD

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Homeless and Hungry People in Britain in Victorian Times" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 24, 2013. Dec 13, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Homeless-and-Hungry-People-in-Britain-in-Victorian-Times>.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips