This is a May Day holiday scene on a local common. There is a fair and maypole in the background which is surrounded by crowds of people and some children who are running and playing; three young women are walking together in the foreground. Some houses are visible in the distance over the trees.
May Day 1884 Randolph Caldecott 1846-86 Oil on millboard Randolph Caldecott was famous in his lifetime as an illustrator of children’s books. He began his artistic training in Manchester, where he worked in a bank on Mosley Street. Caldecott drew May Day celebrations for his 1884 picture book ‘Come Lasses and Lads’. The words that he illustrated were ‘And away to the May-pole hey’ which were probably also in his mind when he painted this picture. Purchased from the artist 1884.12
support: 14.1cm x 22.9cm
Place of creation
[G9] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 9
© Manchester Art Gallery