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

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.

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