A Passing Cloud
Narrative scene depicting two young lovers in a garden. A young woman, dressed in white with a wide brimmed straw hat carried in one hand, stands in the foreground to left, at the bottom of two stone steps, leaning with one arm against a stone pillar and her back to the rest of the garden. A flowering rose bush grows to the left of the stone pathway before her. Behind her to right, at the top of the steps, sits a young man at a table, one arm leaning on the table top and supporting his head, looking off to the right. Sunlit archway through the trees in the background to the right, through which rest of garden can be glimpsed.
A Passing Cloud about 1891 Marcus Stone 1840 - 1921 Oil on canvas The title implies this lovers’ tiff will soon be over and shortly their love and the overcast garden will be filled with light once again. However, their body language suggests that the dark mood may last longer. The torn fabric trailing from the table to the step marks the woman’s path away from the man’s side; while the rose she holds symbolizes their love: beautiful, delicate, yet thorny and painful. The son and pupil of the painter Frank Stone, the artist initially painted historical scenes, with figures dressed in the costume of the late 1700s. He later chose more sentimental, romantic subjects and also produced illustrations for Dickens’ novels. In fact, Stone’s paintings made very popular prints and sales of these made him a wealthy man. However, Stone produced so many of these images that his output was mocked as the ‘Stone Age’. James Thomas Blair bequest 1917.209
A Passing Cloud
unframed: 24.7cm x 40cm
framed: 45cm x 58.9cm
Place of creation
[BG] Manchester Art Gallery - Balcony Gallery
Mr James Thomas Blair bequest, 1917.
© Manchester Art Gallery