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Drawing - Tavern entrertainment, or early music hall
  • Tavern entrertainment, or early music hall
    Cruikshank, George, born 1792 - died 1878
  • Enlarge image

Tavern entrertainment, or early music hall

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1845 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cruikshank, George, born 1792 - died 1878 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    S.43-2005

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This original pencil and watercolour sketch is by the graphic artist George Cruikshank (1792-1878), the London-born son of the Scottish painter Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811). Cruikshank worked in his father's studio and was a talented artist from an early age. He became a prolific artist of political cartoons after 1808 but despite his success in this field, from the 1820s onwards he became more involved in book illustration. His best-known illustration was probably that for Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, first published in journal form in 1837.

George Cruikshank loved the theatre. In the 1840s he was a member of Charles Dickens' amateur theatre company, and this delicately coloured pencil and wash drawing is a view of vocal entertainment in a tavern, probably in about 1845. From performances such as these in taverns, the idea of dedicated 'song and supper rooms' in taverns grew, and eventually the hugely successful 19th century music halls.

Physical description

Pencil and watercolour drawing by George Cruikshank of a scene within a tavern whilst entertainment is taking place on a small stage at the back of the room. A dark-haired female singer is standing and singing in front of a piano played by another woman, while the announcer or another male performer sits on a chair to the left of the piano, apparently studying a script.. The mostly male audience sits on benches at two long wooden tables to the left and right of the stage. In the foreground, right, there is the edge of an empty table. The gas mantles are seen hanging down from the ceiling, top centre, above the scene. The washes of colour are very pale and the area to the right of the small podium, at the back, appears unfinished. The outline head of an audience member is not complete.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)

Date

ca. 1845 (painted)

Artist/maker

Cruikshank, George, born 1792 - died 1878 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'original sketch'
Inscribed in pen and ink, on the top margin, centre, above the image.

'George Cruikshank'
Inscribed in pen and ink, on the lower margin, central, below the image.

Dimensions

Height: 4.1 cm, Width: 22.1 cm

Descriptive line

Pencil and watercolour drawing by George Cruikshank (1792-1878) of a scene within a tavern with vocal and piano entertainment taking place, ca.1845.

Materials

Pencil; Watercolour; Paper

Techniques

Drawn; Painted

Subjects depicted

Tavern; Gas lighting

Categories

Drawings; Entertainment & Leisure; Music Hall; Audiences

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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