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Painting - Waiting for the Skipper
  • Waiting for the Skipper
    Bale, Edwin, born 1838 - died 1923
  • Enlarge image

Waiting for the Skipper

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1871 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bale, Edwin, born 1838 - died 1923 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Dixon Bequest

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Edwin Bale (1838-1923) seems to have tried to depict poorer children more realistically than some of his contemporaries did. In this case the boy's working clothes are only picturesque in the sense that their textures and colours make a convincing element in the composition of the painting. And while the boy may only be waiting for the skipper (master of the boat) in normal circumstances, the title and the stormy background acknowledge the uncertainties of life in fishing communities, where many families have waited in vain for the skipper and his crew to come home safely from a trip to sea

Physical description

The painting is of portrait proportions and shows a boy seated on a stretch of turf leading to a beach, with a stormy sea and sky in the background. He has short fair fair and grey-blue eyes, and is barefooted. He wears a blue sou'wester, patched and rolled up drab-coloured trousers with braces, and a teal-coloured jumper over a white shirt with a red print neckerchief. He is leaning on a heap of equipment which includes a basket, fishing nets and a small red keg, and is holding a length of net cord in his true left hand.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1871 (made)


Bale, Edwin, born 1838 - died 1923 (artist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Signature; date; lower right corner; writing; paint


Height: 67 cm, Width: 55 cm (framed), Depth: 3.5 cm (framed)

Descriptive line

Watercolour painting 'Waiting for the Skipper' by Edwin Bale, painted in England in 1871





Subjects depicted



Children & Childhood; Childrens' clothes


Museum of Childhood

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