Daily Archives: 27 September 2015

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

"Friday", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Friday”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

Walter Dendy Sadler was popular with the British 19th Century public in much the same way that Norman Rockwell would become with the American public in the 20th Century.  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Sadler:

“He painted contemporary people in domestic and daily life pursuits, showing them with comical expressions illustrating their greed, stupidity etc.  His subjects were usually set in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries with sentimental, romantic and humorous themes.  Before painting a scene he would create elaborate settings in which local villagers would often pose as models.  Indeed, as he often used the same props and models, these can sometimes be seen repeated in successive paintings in different guises.  The home, the inn, the lawyers office, the garden and the golf course all provide subjects for his wit and clever social observation.”

Change a few nouns and adjectives, and that paragraph could be a good description of  Rockwell.

Sadler was known for his humorous scenes of religious life.   The picture above, called “Friday”, shows Dominican monks sharing a rather lavish meal with two visiting brown-robed Franciscans.  If the picture’s title wasn’t enough, a look at the fish and seafood dishes lets us know what day it is, because at the time, Catholics were forbidden to eat meat on Friday.

"The Monk's Repast", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“The Monk’s Repast”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

Red wine with seafood?  Really?

"Thursday", by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Thursday”, by Walter Dendy Sadler

“Thursday” is a sort of prequel to the first picture.  In fact, it’s also known as “Tomorrow Will Be Friday”.  It  shows a group of Franciscans fishing for the next day’s meal.