This painting has been identified with the work Flora Reid exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in London in 1884 with the title 'October (Potato Harvesters)'. There it was accompanied by the lines ‘All is safely gathered in/Ere the winter storms begin’, a quotation from the pre-eminent harvest hymn of Victorian Britain, ‘Come, ye thankful people, come’, written exactly 40 years earlier. The setting of the painting is probably northern France or Belgium and figures of various sizes are engaged in several different occupations. As in comparable works by Reid’s mentors and contemporaries – the French artists Jules Breton (1824–1906) and Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884) and the Englishman George Clausen (1852–1944) – she concentrates chiefly on a single worker in the foreground. Young, strong and sunburnt, he is momentarily a hero rather than a mere labourer.
Where to see this painting?
The Fleming Collection
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