This is a superb 19th century Royal Academy painting depicting a lost child waiting in a Victorian police station by the eminent British artist Alfred Dixon 1842-1919. The painting is signed by the artist, and features Dixon’s own son Charles Edward Dixon in an actual incident when the little boy had become lost and was picked up by the police. This important work was arguably Dixon’s masterpiece and became a star attraction at the 1876 Royal Academy summer exhibition.
The London Morning Post’s review had this to say…
“The smallest figure upon this canvas is by far the most important personage of the scene. There is something exceedingly tragi-comic in the disconsolate woebegone air and manner of this tiny wanderer as, with head slightly drooping on one side, he looks furtively from under his little hat at the gigantic policeman who has ‘run him in’. This is a clever and original work, full of drollery not unrelieved with a touch of homely pathos, so that one hardly knows whether to bestow tears or laughter on the Lilliputian wayfarer who is miles away from home. Why so good a picture should have been placed above rather than upon the line is a mystery past finding out by any one not in the confidence of the Hanging Committee.”
Between 1864 and 1891 Alfred Dixon exhibited 18 paintings at the Royal Academy, and a further 18 with the Royal Society of British Artists at the Suffolk Street Gallery in London. A much smaller and less important near study for the painting being offered here sold at Christie’s in London in 200 for almost $10,000.
Dimensions: (framed) 118cm x 78cm (46½” x 30¾”)
Dimensions: (canvas only) 101cm x 62cm (39¾” x 24½”)
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Provenance: Private UK collection.
Presentation: Fine 19th century swept giltwood frame.
Condition: Very good. Newly professionally cleaned and re-varnished. Ready to hang.