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Image of idle young lady

The Idle Young Lady

  • Hand coloured lithograph
  • Dean & Co., Threadneedle Street
  • circa 1840s
  • 222 x 279mm (8¾ x 11in)

A pretty Victorian maiden yields to an overwhelming feeling of listlessness while working on a piece of needlework, peacefully sleeping in her favourite chair, blissfully unaware of the havoc being wreaked by her domestic companions.

In the intimate space of the parlour three cherished household pets have taken advantage of their owner's incapacity. The dog has snatched her lacework and upset the sewing box, the cat clambers over the furniture upsetting vases of flowers in an attempt to catch the song-bird in its cage and an exotic parrot with beautiful plumage, bottom right, eats the flowers and leaves on the young woman's bonnet.

However, even if there is a modicum of criticism aired in the title of the print, "The Idle Young Lady", the artist's depiction of animal anarchy is one of light-hearted fun.



This regular feature shows special items from members’ own collections. Submissions by email should include a scan of the item.