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Woman reclining on a beach

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and the changing status of women in the 1920s

Vosper, Sydney Curnow (1866-1942)

Threading the shuttle c.1923

RCIN 927444

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The sense of depth, atmosphere, and evening luminosity achieved in this tiny portrayal of an elderly woman at her spinning wheel is remarkable. It recalls paintings of seventeenth-century Dutch interiors and is perhaps a reminder of the traditional concept of the sanctity of work; in this case, of domestic labour. Sydney Curnow Vosper’s paintings often show us elderly women engaged in acts of moral or spiritual value, as examples for the young to follow.