Great Britain 1856-1916
oil on canvas
170.0 x 152.0 cm
Homeless, 1890, is one of a series of works in which Kennington depicts the plight of women and children who were impoverished or destitute. Subjects such as these gained popularity during the 1870s and 1880s, partly as a result of the increasing influence of illustrated journals, which regularly commisssioned artists to provide images of ‘real’ life.
In Homeless, the square-brush technique used by Kennington in painting the wet pavement and the river, and his focus on subtle tonal variations rather than on colour - as in the soft grey light illuminating this scene - were among the characteristics adapted by British artists from French sources at the time.