Jonathan Pratt

Peeling Turnips

Jonathan Pratt

Peeling Turnips

This late 19th-century oil painting by British artist Jonathan Pratt (1835-1911) depicts an elderly lady peeling turnips upon a stone step.

Pratt was born into a large family and carried a deep respect for the working classes throughout his career. He developed a keen skill for drawing at an early age, which led to an apprenticeship at just 11 years old. His home would’ve been abundant with inspiration and it’s easy to imagine him sitting at the family table while sketching the daily routines. It was a hive of activity with nine siblings - Jonathan being the youngest.

Here, we see a familiar scene from Victorian life - a grandmother peeling vegetables, perhaps to assist her daughter while she prepared dinner. She appears to be sitting outside to gain a few moments of peace. Many of Pratt’s genre scenes are tied back to his upbringing and this is a fine example. He also painted his father, a shoesmith, reading a newspaper.

There’s a Dickensian spirit underpinning this charming little piece and it’s remarkably well executed by a well-trained hand.

Signed/dated lower right and framed.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 12½” x 14½” / 32cm x 37cm
Year of creation: 1875
Condition: Artwork presents well. Relined. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £15,000

Jonathan Pratt

Jonathan Pratt

Jonathan Pratt trained under Robert Andrews and exhibited at the Royal Academy, Suffolk Street, the Royal Institute of British Artists, and the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art. His works are held in numerous public collections including at Birmingham Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery, Leicester Town Hall and Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Learn more about Jonathan Pratt in our directory.

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