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This 'study of a girl in peasant costume, knitting' was done by Matilda Rose Herschel probably on a trip to Italy. Children of upper middle class English families were often sent on trips around Italy in the 19th century to learn about art and practice sketching. It was not uncommon for them to pay people such as this 'young Italian peasant girl' to pose for them. It is signed by the artist and datedRose, as she was known to the family, was John and Margaret's 10th child. This is one of a series of drawings she, alongside her brothers and sisters, would have done as part of her artistic education. The Herschel daughters, and the sons before they went away to school, recieved a very intensive education at home with lessons from their mother, their father, a series of governesses and a number of specialist outside tutors. Rose spent much of her adult life in India looking after her brothers William and John and later marrying a friend of her brother's William Waterfield.