The Reluctant Departure
'In "The Reluctant Departure," the incident of a mother taking
leave of her child as it lies in the nurse's arms. ere she descends to a boat in
the foreground, which a fisherman and his boy are preparing to push off from the
shore, is treated with singular boldness and simplicity of effect. The drawing
and action of the figures, the painting of the water in the foreground, and of
the bank rising beyond it, with weeds and broken ground just visible beneath, in
shadow, and the depth and harmony of tone thrown over the whole composition,
combine to make this picture a fine example of the painter's careful observation
of Nature and industrious study of Art.' Memoirs I p.69-70.
The picture is sadly rather dirtier now than it presumably was then. But something of that can be seen in this detail.