In this painting motherhood is presented in idealised form the mother and baby are pristine and sit at a piano, a marker of status within the domestic sphere and a key indication of middle-class standing.
The First Piano Lesson by Charles West Cope, c. 1860
© The Geffrye Museum of the Home
- Oil on canvas
- 34 x 34.5 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £4,215 ( Total: £11,250)
- Acquired in:
The place of middle-class children within the home and attitudes of parents towards them is under-researched and a subject that the Geffrye hopes to open up with a major exhibition in the future. The painting modifies the stereotypical view that Victorian children were to be seen and not heard. Children have been under-represented in the Geffrye Museums collection of Victorian paintings.
JS Maas & Co, London; Sir David Scott, 1986; Sotheby's, 2008.