The Disaster by Francis Wheatley

This work shows a mother and daughter distressed to discover that the cat has killed the canary.


Oil on canvas
78 x 66 cm
Art Fund grant:
£2,000 ( Total: £8,000)
Acquired in:
Charles Young

Wheatley began his career painting landscapes, portraits and conversation pieces, and then began to specialize in sentimental-realist themes showing the strong influence of Greuze. This painting belongs to the series 'Cries of London' which were the artist's most popular essays in the genre. The picture is of sociological significance since, besides being a good example of late 18th-century sensibility, it shows a middle-class interior and hints at another aspect of contemporary taste, the increasing emphasis on the interrelation of house and garden.

Venue details

The Geffrye Museum of the Home 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, London London E2 8EA 020 7739 9893

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

The museum is closed to the public for a major, transformational development project. It will reopen in winter 2019.
During closure, the restored almshouse will remain open for tours and a full programme of events will be run in the front gardens.