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A Village Choir

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    England (painted)

  • Date:

    1847 (exhibited)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Webster, Thomas RA, born 1800 - died 1886 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case WEST WALL

This work illustrates Washington Irving's 'Christmas Day', from The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1820). His essay was a comical and sentimental account of an old-fashioned village choir and its musicians. The painting was probably Webster's most famous and admired work, critically praised for its 'truth and diversity of character'.

Physical description

Oil painting depicting a village choir, illustrating various "characters" in a rural church choir and band.

Place of Origin

England (painted)


1847 (exhibited)


Webster, Thomas RA, born 1800 - died 1886 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on panel


Height: 60.4 cm estimate, Width: 91.5 cm estimate, Height: 89 cm frame dimensions, Width: 119 cm frame dimensions, Depth: 11 cm frame dimensions

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'A Village Choir' by Thomas Webster. Great Britain, 1847.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Baker, Malcolm, and Brenda Richardson (eds.), A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London: V&A Publications, 1999.
Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 298-300
100 Great Paintings in The Victoria & Albert Museum. London: V&A, 1985, p.144
ed. Carol Thompson, The Cranbrook Colony. Fresh Perspectives Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-947642-28-0.


Oil paint; Panel


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Carving; Children; Figures (representations); Women; Arches; Churches; Musical instruments; Musicians; Singers; Men; Interior views


Paintings; Musical instruments; Religion


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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