Weeding the Pavement, by George Boughton (1834-1905). 1882. Oil on canvas. H 91.5 x W 152.5 cm. Collection: Tate. Accession number, N01539. Acquisition method: presented by Sir Henry Tate, 1894. Kindly made available by the gallery via Art UK on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee.

This painting appears as a black-and-white reproduction, entitled Weeding the Streets, in Boughton's Sketching Rambles in Holland, and is again imbued with the artist's characteristic "sympathy with the out-door lives of ordinary persons, in states of society different from our own" (Monkhouse 561). The women have adopted slightly different postures. One sits on a low stool; another stretches, as if to ease her back — this must be back-breaking work; another, on the far right, sweeps up the weeds. All are picturesquely dressed, with close-fitting white bonnets, aprons and clogs, in an unmistakably Dutch scene. This is a harbour, and a sailor, puffing contentedly on his pipe, watches from the edge of the quayside, a small dog beside him. It is all very "ordinary" for them, no doubt, but quite "different" for the artist, and also (impressively so) for those of us who do not belong to that community.



Boughton, George Henry. Sketching Rambles in Holland. London: Macmillan, 1885. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Getty Research Institute. Web. 2 January 2022.

Monkhouse, Cosmo. "Some English Artists and Their Studios." The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. Vol. XXIV. Century Company, 1882: 553-68. Internet Archive. Web. 2 January 2022.

Created 2 January 2022