The Berger Collection

Henry Thomson, RA (1773-1843)
Master Roger Mainwaring, ca. 1810
Oil on canvas
75 x 42 3/4 in. (190.5 x 108.5 cm)

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Thomson is known to have painted a number of pictures of young boys engaged in sporting pastimes. Here he shows the fresh-faced and brightly clothed Master Roger Mainwaring taking a break from a day out fishing. With its amusing and sentimental touches - such as the balustrade that is too big for Roger to sit on, his dangling legs trying to reach the ground, and his rod that is also too big for him - this large, near-life-size picture is typical of early nineteenth-century child portraiture. Master Roger Mainwaring is likely a posed studio portrait - such fine clothes likely would not be worn to go fishing on a muddy riverbank - but the young sitter may well have been a keen fisherman and wanted to be depicted as such.


Hutchinson & Co.; Christie's, December 14, 1951, lot 169; Springfield Ltd., London; Christie's, London, July 12, 1996, lot 27; private collection, U.K.

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