A Belgian Peasant Girl

William Strang, 1859 - 1921

A Belgian Peasant Girl

William Strang 1859 - 1921


Half-length frontal portrait of an anonymous Belgian peasant girl, dressed in a plain white shirt and headscarf, with a dark shawl about her shoulders. She stands with her arms folded across her waist, her head turned slightly to the left, and her eyes downcast. There is a plain, pale yellow background.

Display Label

A Belgian Peasant Girl 1914 William Strang 1859-1921 Oil on canvas Strang focuses our attention on the pure pale innocence of the girl’s face, her hair demurely hidden beneath her head-covering. Her butter-coloured blouse adds to the effect of rural wholesomeness. This picture was acquired early in the First World War. In 1914 supporting ‘plucky little Belgium’ was widely proclaimed as Britain’s main reason for entering the conflict. People wrote letters to the Gallery, suggesting the display of works by Belgian artists as a supportive gesture. Strang’s Belgian subject assuredly helped to sell this painting to Manchester, making it the first painting by him to enter a public collection. Purchased 1915.2

Object Name

A Belgian Peasant Girl

Creators Name

William Strang

Date Created



framed: 104.8cm x 72cm
unframed: 76.4cm x 63.6cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


© Manchester Art Gallery

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