William Powell Frith is considered to be the greatest painter of the social scene since Hogarth.

The immense popularity of his works is due in part to their encompassing all stratas of society and in highlighting social concerns and reflecting London's diverse population. In this painting a little street urchin, the crossing sweeper, is attempting to persuade a pretty young lady to pay him to escort her across a busy London road. It was one of Frith's most popular compositions.

Provenance

Christie's, 1997; Sotheby's, 2003.


Museum of London

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