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Monday 9 January 2023

William Strang’s etching, “Mealtime”, 1883

William Strang (1859–1921)

“Mealtime”, 1883, published by Philip Gilbert Hamerton (1834–1894) in London in 1884 in the art periodical, “The Portfolio”, vol. 15, facing page 145 (see

In the discussion on the facing page accompanying this etching, Philip Hamerton (1884) offers the following insights: “These poor people happen to be out-of-doors and are hungry, and they possess the simple materials of a meal in which luxury is unknown. They all belong to the same family, and we learn from the artist that the old man has been giving himself a good wash in the lake before his dinner …. The people are serious, the usual characteristic of Mr. Strang's personages, and the meal is not likely to be enlivened with merriment; but they are not supposed or intended to be unhappy. They are 'poor and not thinking of their poverty,' so there is neither any attempt to hide it nor any effort to overcome the thoughts of it by forced gaiety” (p. 145).

Etching on laid paper with the “Portfolio” watermark, signed and dated in the plate.

Size: (sheet) 23.5 x 33.6 cm; (plate) 17.2 x 25 cm.

Inscribed in plate at lower right: “W Strang 83”.

DS.54 (David Strang 1962, “William Strang: Catalogue of his Etchings and Engravings”, Glasgow, University of Glasgow, cat. no. 54).

Condition: a richly inked impression in an excellent (near pristine) condition with no tears, holes, folds, stains or signs of handling.

I am selling this superb etching for the total price of AU$224 in total (currently US$154.98/EUR144.23/GBP127.34 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this strong and respectful representation of a very poor family, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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