This painting depicts a scene from Charles Dickens’ novel The Old Curiosity Shop. It was painted by John Ritchie in 1857.
Telling the story
Charles Dickens was an enormously popular author, and many of those viewing this painting would have been familiar with the novel.
If you have never read the book, see if you can guess some of the plot points from details in the painting.
- Looking at the body language of Little Nell and her grandfather, who seems to be in control of the situation?
- Does their basket of food suggest they were rich or poor?
- Can you see anything in the background to confirm that they have left London?
You can read more about Charles Dickens’ presence in our collections on our main blog.