Arthur Boyd HoughtonVolunteers 1861

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Artwork details

Artist
Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836‑1875)
Title
Volunteers
Date 1861
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 305 x 394 mm frame: 490 x 591 x 70 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1926
Reference
N04207
Not on display

Display caption

This painting shows a group of infantrymen recruiting for the Volunteer Movement which swept Britain between 1859 and 1860. It was fuelled by the revolutions in Continental Europe in 1848 and British mistrust of France.As Houghton shows in this painting, the volunteers were mainly recruited from the middle classes. They felt it was their patriotic duty to enlist in one of the volunteer battalions. But there appears to be a general lack of interest from the civilians in this painting. The gentleman on the left is carefully not looking at the soldiers.

July 2007

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