The bird cage is open: one bird is sitting on top of it, another has been caught by one of the boys below. Birds in cages can be used to symbolise love as imprisoning men and women, or as maidenhood which is shown as lost when the bird has flown.
Where to see this painting?
English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House
Hyde Park Corner, London, Greater London, England, W1J 7NT
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.