The portrait was commissioned by the Pre-Raphaelite collector, James Leathart of Newcastle.

It depicts his young wife and three daughters on a balcony feeding pigeons. The motif had its inspiration in a family group Hughes saw on a balcony in St Mark's Square, Venice in 1863. Other details in the picture confirm the inspiration of Italian Renaissance painting such as the slashed sleeves of the mother and the intertwining poses of mother and daughter.


Purchased from artist by James Leathart in 1866. Leathart family by descent.

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