This image demonstrates an intimate knowledge of rural life in Wade's native Lancashire. It shows workers engaged in cutting peat with cattle in the distance and a dog in the foreground. Cutting peat for fuel was a legal right in the countryside in the 19th century, for personal use or for small gain. There is dignity and nobility in the group he represents, but Wade also depicts the hardship.
90 x 70 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 90 x 70 cm ® Tate, London
British artist Thomas Wade was born in 1828 and died 1891. He is known for his portraits, which varied from higher class sitters to depicting lower classes working or children playing amongst a rural landscape. Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, Wade meticulously painted in front of his subject.