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Oil painting - Throwing off Her Weeds
  • Throwing off Her Weeds
    Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888
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Throwing off Her Weeds

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1846 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888 (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

A young widow is impatient to discard her black mourning clothes (known as widow's weeds) because she has plans to marry again. The seamstress is showing her a lilac-coloured dress, a colour considered appropriate for a woman in the last phase of mourning. At this time, the mourning period for a husband was expected to be at least two years.

Originally the picture included a figure of a soldier, the widow's new suitor, entering through the doorway. Critics thought this was vulgar, and Redgrave painted the figure out, but he kept a number of other visual clues to suggest that the woman is soon to be married again: there is a bridal bonnet in the hat-box in the foreground, and a sprig of orange blossom (a flower which was usually worn or carried at weddings) on the dressing table.

Physical description

Oil painting

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, painted)


1846 (painted)


Redgrave, Richard CB, RA, ARA, born 1804 - died 1888 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on panel

Marks and inscriptions

'Richd Redgrave 1846'
Signed and dated by the artist on hat box, lower right


Height: 76.2 cm estimate, Width: 62.3 cm estimate

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Descriptive line

Oil painting by Richard Redgrave entitled 'Throwing off her Weeds'. Great Britain, 1846.

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

Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 241-43


Oil paint; Panel


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Seamstress; Mourning; Widow; Marriage


Paintings; Interiors


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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