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Benjamin Robert Haydon
Punch or May Day
Oil on canvas

1505 x 1851 mm

Tate Britain

Excerpt from Tate Britain:

Benjamin Robert Haydon
Punch or May Day, 1829

Haydon was an enthusiastic Londoner. He wanted to catch the city’s fizz and energy in this picture, as well as the enduring traditions of ‘Old England’ such as the festivities of May Day. A crowd of mixed classes, ages and races mingles with a costumed procession and a Punch and Judy show in the Marylebone Road. Haydon thought of calling the picture simply ‘Life’. But he included an ironic comment on English philistinism: an Italian selling casts and statues but finding few buyers. Haydon, a history painter by preference, believed his own art was under-appreciated.

October 2013


Benjamin Robert Haydon, British, (1786–1846)
b. January 25, 1786
d. 1846

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: January 25

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