A Lady and Children Relieving a Cottager
William Redmore Bigg, English, 1755 - 1828
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With meticulous attention to fashion and social custom, William Redmore Bigg imagined an aristocratic lady and her children offering charity to an impoverished cottage-dwelling family. The harmonious world Bigg depicted was calculated to appeal to the privileged classes and to inspire their philanthropy and generosity. In this picture, peasant and footman (both dressed in shades of red) are presented as well-fed, well-dressed, and grateful for the financial support bestowed on them by the lady and her children. The artist’s vision is one-sided and glosses over the lived reality of the Black adolescent and the cottager and her child.
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