The painting's title gives a clue as to the possible tragedy unfolding here and as we look more closely we see the enormity of the subject's situation. A young woman with a very young baby in the crib sits alone with an elderly parent who reads from a newspaper. The humble interior and the nets in the basket on the floor tell us that this is a poor fishing family. The baby's father, the young woman's husband and the family's breadwinner, is away at sea and we assume missing. The news of the fleet cannot be good. The faraway look in the woman's eyes can only hint at her thoughts.
Langley specialised in depicting the harsh lives of the people of Newlyn and this painting feels complimentary to an earlier work of a similar subject, titled 'Among the Missing' painted in 1884. 'News of the Fleet' is more emotionally reserved, but this is still a work of great pathos.
- Walter Langley
- 51.5 x 67.5cm
- Land & Sea