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ID number:  BIRBI-44.9
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Leech, John (1817-1864)
Title / Object name:  A Bracing Day at the Seaside
Object type:  Watercolour
Culture:  British
Materials:  Watercolour over pencil
Measurements:  25.2 x 35.0 cm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi, 1944, for £25
BIRBI-44.9.jpg

A family group struggle against the wind to walk along Scarborough Pier, whilst large waves break behind them. Leech’s characterisation of the holiday spirit is demonstrated by the ecstatic children in the foreground, the grimacing female guiding them, and the striding determination of the central man. Women wear the fashionable round hat, holding a cord to prevent it flying off in high wind. During the Victorian period seaside holidays had become popular with the advent of railways. Sea bathing at this time was seen as peculiar; instead a brisk walk by the sea was recommended.

Inscriptions / Translations:  Signed l.l.: J.L.

Notes:  A drawing described as a 'first sketch' for A Windy Day at the Seaside, by Leech, was in Ruskin's Educational Series at Oxford, but was removed by him in 1887 (The Works of Ruskin, Library Edition, XXI, p.153). A sketch of the figure of the young dandy was in the collection of W.B.O. Field, and is described in his John Leech on my Shelves, 1930, p.249 (no. 78), repr. p. 144.

1 Related People

Leech, John
British
1817
1864
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