The Mid-day Rest by George Frederic Watts RA (1817-1904). Source: the 1882 Magazine of Art.

Commentary by The Magazine of Art

This noble picture — "The Mid-day Rest," as it is called — is not of a kind that one would have expected from Mr. Watts. But, with its frank and semi-heroic realism, it expresses an intention quite characteristic and quite worthy of the artist — that of the preservation of faithful images of grand and unique types both of man and horse, which he thinks may ere long be refined away. To this end has he painted to the life his brawny, beery, herculean drayman, leaning against his shafts and sleepily casting grain to the pigeons, while his grand docile brutes stand patient and still. The painter, as may be seen in many of his pictures, has studied animals with great care and to admirable purpose ; but there is still reason for surprise at the splendid modelling and grand drawing of these magnificent horses. The same sense of fitness which characterises all his work is evident in the background of broad horse-chestnut leaves and red-brick wall, in harmony with the grandiose simplicity of the whole design. [183]

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Monkhouse, Cosmo. “The Watts Exhibition.” Magazine of Art. 5 (1882): 177-83. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 23 October 2014.

Last modified 23 October 2014