Old Nancy Milking the Cow by Harrison Weir, 1872
"Old Nancy Milking the Cow" by Harrison William Weir, 1872
In this antique chromolithograph, an English farmer is seen milking her cow outside. A small cat - a favorite of Harrison Weir's subjects - looks on, perhaps hoping for a taste of fresh milk as the chickens indifferently peck at the surrounding hay. In the back, a breeze blows the trees in the horizon of the charming landscape. A quaint farmhouse, decorated by bushes with pink blossoms, stands behind a fence, the shelter of the woman. The beautiful pastel palette of the lithograph evokes the peaceful environment of the scene.
Born in 1824, Harrison Weir studied at Albany Academy and later worked at the printing business of George Baxter. There, he became a skilled engraver. Upon leaving this apprenticeship, he worked as a newspaper draughtsman. Weir's first exhibition of his animal paintings was at the British Institution in 1845. An illustrator of a number of both fictional works (such as a volume of Aesop's Fables) and natural history books, he became a member of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours and exhibited at the Royal Academy. A prominent gentleman, he was a member of many clubs, including the Savage and the Constitutional. His greatest achievement, however, did not spring from the realm of art. Instead, it was as a naturalist whose love of animals led him to put on England's first cat show in the year 1871. He also bred poultry and wrote and illustrated three books on animals before his death in 1906.
Using the expertise of his father, Marcus Ward founded Marcus Ward and Sons - a publishing house - in Belfast, Ireland sometime in the 1830s. Later renamed Marcus Ward & Co., they opened their London office in 1867. They were famous for their color lithography and later printed popular greeting cards and calendars. From their London location, they printed a number of collections that featured the work of Harrison Weir.
- Onastasia Youssef
Plate size: 4.5" x 6.5"
Sheet size: 6" x 8"
Condition: Some smudges at bottom of sheet, otherwise in very fine condition