Heart's Content, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Four children playing outside the small white thatched cottage. A tall forest stands in the distance. Thomas Faed's father was a millwright. He married the beautiful Mary McGeoch and in 1819 they settled in the Scottish town of Gatehouse-of-Fleet, where they had six children, four of whom, John, James, Thomas and Susan became accomplished painters. All the children attended the local Parish School. Having observed with some apprehension that Thomas was developing the same devotion to art as his brother John, his father sent him to work as an apprentice draper. Thomas reluctantly respected the parental wishes and remained at the shop until his father's death in 1843. Then, he accepted the invitation of his brother John to join him in Edinburgh to help with the miniatures. John encouraged Thomas' talent without showing and jealousy towards the more talented brother. He was an outstandingly successful student and it did not take him long to discover that his strength lay in painting scenes of rural life. He discovered that his subjects of humble Scottish life were very much to the Victorian taste and appealed to the existing market. Another major subject was the state of poverty, which led to emigration and the break-up of Highland families. Wolverhampton Art Gallery owns a smaller version of 'Sunday in the Backwoods of Canada' owned by Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 1849 he was elected associate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and in 1851 he sent three pictures to the London Royal Academy Exhibition. All of them were displayed. He moved to London where he gained a great success and was established as a Scottish genre painter.
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