Walter Dendy Sadler1882

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

This is one of a group of mildly satirical paintings by Sadler showing the domestic life of monks and friars which date from about 1865-90. Sadler depicts Dominican friars entertaining two Franciscans to a meal. Friday in religious life is traditionally a day of fasting, or at least the day in which no meat is eaten. Sadler’s friars are observing the letter of the law, but not its spirit, by settling down to a feast of fish. Sadler said of ‘Friday’: “I can recall no reason why I tried to paint monks, but I do remember that I never had a real monk as a model. I have studied them on the Continent, also at a small monastery in Crawley, Sussex.” Two years before painting 'Friday', Sadler completed a companion work called ‘Thursday’(Tate, London)which shows the friars sitting by the monastic fishpond catching the next day’s meal. The two paintings were clearly planned together from the outset, but ‘Friday’ became much the better known, and thanks to engravings and reproductions in books was for many years one of the most popular paintings in the Walker Art Gallery’s collection.

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  • Title: Friday
  • Creator: Walter Dendy Sadler
  • Date Created: 1882
  • Physical Dimensions: w2170 x h1080 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist biographical information: Sadler studied in London and Dusseldorf. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He exhibited widely, including in the Liverpool Autumn exhibitions at the Walker Art Gallery. Sadler specialised in scenes of everyday life often set in earlier centuries. His work was frequently reproduced as prints.
  • Additional artwork information: ‘Friday’ was exhibited at the 1882 Royal Academy exhibition, but it was hung so high that it attracted little attention. Reviewing the exhibition, a writer in The Art Journal said of ‘Friday’: “A good picture, which would have done much to make its author had it received better treatment from the hangers…Several of the minor details, such as the excessively modern appearance of the table and its furniture, might be criticized; but on the whole the picture is to be praised for its genuine humour, and for the careful solidity of its execution”.To learn more about ‘Friday’ and the Walker Art Gallery’s 19th-century collection, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/sadler.aspx
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Presented by James Pegram in 1883