'Sackcloth and Ashes', Tip Girls Leaving Work, South Wales Coal District

 'Sackcloth and Ashes', Tip Girls Leaving Work, South Wales Coal District

© Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Merthyr Tydfil

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about 1879

medium: oil on canvas
technique: painting
size: 89.5 x 68.5 cm
artist: Thomas Henry Thomas

Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Merthyr Tydfil


The title is taken from several Biblical books (eg Esther 4:1,3; Isaiah 58:5; Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13) and is synonymous with penitence and grief. Thomas uses it in a rather punning way (sackcloth = rough garb of the girls; ashes = the tip) but given the context and the fact that it was exhibited at Merthyr in 1880, there is evidently a deeper significance.



 

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Further reading

Peter Lord, The Visual Culture of Wales: Industrial Society (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1998), p.119.

Peter Lord, The Visual Culture of Wales: Industrial Society (CD-ROM) (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000).




© Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Merthyr Tydfil


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