A young peasant girl in a bonnet is protecting a child in her arms whilst a small boy shelters beneath her dramatically windswept cloak. The storm is upon Salisbury Plain.
The bleak scene is inspired by lines from 'Winter' (1726) by the Scottish playwright and poet James Thomson (1670–1748), written shortly after the death of his mother. It is from the first part of the poem, 'The Seasons' (1730) and is adapted thus on the frame label:
...How sinks her Soul!
What black Despair! What horror fills her heart!
Far from the tract, and blest abode of man;
While round her night resistless closes fast,
And every tempest, howling o'er her head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild
The romantically 'Gothic' picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1811.
Where to see this painting?
National Trust, Stourhead
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