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John Absolon began his career as a scenery painter for the theatres of Drury Lane and Covent Garden in London before making a name for himself as a watercolourist specialising in idealised views of provincial life and labour. In this scene of summer haymaking, he has depicted the workers as amiable rustics who have put aside their wooden forks and rakes after spreading the mowed hay to dry (tedding) and forming it into low ridges (windrows) to be carted off for storage or built into haystacks.

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