©The Whitworth, The University of Manchester | Licence: All Rights Reserved
©The Whitworth, The University of Manchester | Licence: All Rights Reserved

The Poachers alarmed

Comments? Do please tell us: [email protected]

From the Collection


The fire confined to the fireplace was no doubt for man the first object of reverie.Gaston Bachelard, The Psychoanalysis of FireIn Von Ostade's print, the family gathers around the hearth, a source of warmth, food and light. Despite its clean-cut, smokeless coal nature, Caulfield's fire continues this tradition of being an object of reverie. Hilton depicts the kitchen, the very heart of the house. The characteristics of the kitchen as a place of warmth and comfort are complicated by the knowledge that at the time of painting Hilton was bed-ridden and was to die the same year.In contrast to these valorised scenes, Topham depicts the hearth of an Irish cottage as a site of poverty. The father is absent, the peat fire is small and smouldering and the woman and child are observed coldly from a distance. Fripp goes one step further and leaves the hearth out of his work completely. The house of the poachers is represented as more of an animal's lair than a home.

Image Licence

Image Credit

©The Whitworth, The University of Manchester

From the Watercolour World