Maria Cosway, Nightscene: A Woman and Two Children, One Apparently Dead, at Seashore

Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Date: 1800
Technique: Brown ink and wash, heightened with white, on paper, 225 x 281 mm

This drawing, and the drawing of a prison scene shown nearby, are from a group of designs created by Cosway to illustrate the poem The Wintry Day by Mary Robinson (1758-1800). Robinson’s poem contrasts the fates of the rich and the poor. The latter undergo a variety of Gothic travails, in this case on a ‘bleak and barren heath’.

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