The Rival Performers thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries

The Rival Performers

Oil Painting
1839 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Some critics interpreted the subject as a young woman silencing her companion’s oboe to listen to the caged bird. Others read it as the bird out-performing the musician. The figures are wearing 17th-century costume and are set in the dining room of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, which Horsley first visited in 1835.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Oil on panel
Brief Description
Oil painting entitled 'The Rival Performers' by John Callcott Horsley. Great Britain, 1839.
Physical Description
Oil painting entitled 'The Rival Performers' depicting a young couple seated in a window of a wood panelled room. The boy is holding an oboe, poised to play, whilst the girl clasps his wrist, looking up at a canary on a perch in front of them. There is a lute leaning against the wall beneath the bird, and a small pair of scissors and a flower on the floor by the feet of the seated girl.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 45.7cm
  • Estimate width: 40.6cm
Dimensions taken from Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'J C Horsley/PINXIT/1839' (Signed and dated by the artist on music sheet, lower right)
Credit line
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Object history
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
Some critics interpreted the subject as a young woman silencing her companion’s oboe to listen to the caged bird. Others read it as the bird out-performing the musician. The figures are wearing 17th-century costume and are set in the dining room of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, which Horsley first visited in 1835.
Bibliographic Reference
Parkinson, R., Victoria and Albert Museum, Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 129-30
Collection
Accession Number
FA.83[O]

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdJune 19, 2003
Record URL