The Girl I Left Behind Me

Randolph Caldecott, 1846 - 1886

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Randolph Caldecott 1846 - 1886


This is a farewell scene at the garden gate of country house between a captain and a young lady. A captain in full military dress stands beside his horse in the lane in front of the wood-slat garden gate of his beloved; he blows her a kiss with his right hand whilst standing against the near-side shoulder of his mount. The horse is disinterested in this encounter and instead stares down the lane after a grey horse ridden by another soldier as they approach a bend that will take them out of sight. The girl is on the other side of the gate, being led away by a woman wearing a mob-cap and a man in a wig; the girl, also in a mob-cap, turns her head to catch a last glimpse of the captain as she approaches the timber-framed house partially visible beyond the garden, against a backdrop of trees.

Display Label

The Girl I Left Behind Me 1886 Randolph Caldecott 1846 - 1886 Oil on panel Caldecott has used the costume of the past to enhance a light-hearted tale of lost love. The painting is littered with little clues that help the viewer decipher the story. There is the girl's half-turned face, the woman's hand on her back, pushing her on, the gate, almost, but not quite closed. The conclusion of the story is suggested by the rather caddish soldier's reluctance to call out, and the view of the 'less noble end' of the horse, hoof raised, ready to leave. Purchased 1886.3

Object Name

The Girl I Left Behind Me

Creators Name

Randolph Caldecott

Date Created



Panel: 20.9cm x 30.3cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint

On Display

[BG] Manchester Art Gallery - Balcony Gallery
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© Manchester Art Gallery

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