October in Surrey: Children Nutting thumbnail 1
October in Surrey: Children Nutting thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

October in Surrey: Children Nutting

Oil Painting
1875 (painted)

object details
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Oil on canvas
Brief Description
Oil painting, 'October in Surrey - Children Nutting', Edward Henry Holder, 1875

  • Estimate height: 15.375in
  • Estimate width: 23.375in
Dimensions taken from Summary catalogue of British Paintings, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973
Marks and Inscriptions
'E H Holder 1875' (Signed by the artist)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon
Object history
Bequeathed by Joshua Dixon, 1886

Historical significance: Born in Scarborough, the landscape painter Edward Henry Holder (fl.1864-1917) exhibited at the Society of British Artists between 1864 and 1893, and at the Royal Academy 1872-73. His subjects were mostly coastal views of Yorkshire. In October in Surrey: children nutting the figures offer an element of narrative interest in what is otherwise a celebration of vivid autumnal colours.

Idyllic landscape scenes like this one enjoyed great popularity in the later 19th century. However, the market for this kind of bucolic scene was mostly driven by nostalgia; for many second or third generation town and city-dwellers, rural life had become associated with the past and tradition. The rural idylls which paintings like these create had little to do with the realities of rural life in the 1870s and 1880s, which, due to a series of bad harvests, local taxation and other economic factors during these years, were actually experiencing a severe agricultural depression.

Another reason for the popularity of bucolic scenes was the steady erosion of the landscape at this time. Unprecedented numbers of newly-built houses were spreading out of the towns and cities into suburbs which encroached on the English countryside.

This painting was bequeathed to the V&A by Joshua Dixon (1811-1885), a successful cotton merchant. In addition to oil paintings, watercolours and drawings, his collection also included engravings, Japanese vases and panels, and bronze and marble sculpture. Born in Dalston, north-east London, Dixon died on his estate of Winslade Park in Somerset and left his collection initially to the Bethnal Green Museum, which is part of the V&A, for the 'benefit of the people of East London.'
Accession Number

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 createdFebruary 7, 2007
Record URL