Hard Times

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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Under a grey sky, an itinerant family rests at the side of a dirt road. They are a man, a woman, a baby, and a boy of about five years. The man stands to the left, leaning against a gate with his thumb hooked into his waistcoat pocket. He has a strong physique and a determined expression, and is dressed in brown work clothes and well-worn boots. He has a bundle on his back and a hat in his hand. His gaze follows the road which leads off to the right towards buildings in the distance. Two figures and a horse in the distance are coming down the road towards the man and his family. The woman sits exhausted on the grass verge, breastfeeding the baby. She too has been carrying a bundle of belongings. Her older child leans tiredly on her knee. The man's work tools – two shovels and a pick – are also on the verge.

Manchester Art Gallery



Hard Times




oil on canvas


H 86.5 x W 112 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from the artist, 1885

Work type


Inscription description

Signed blc : H H 85

Normally on display at

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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