- Museum number
The Old Nurse; young female invalid seated with blanket and tabby cat on lap l, nurse wearing white uniform and metal badge sewing by hand at table beside window, electric light above but not in use, sewing machine in foreground. 1926
Tempera on board
- Production date
Height: 332 millimetres
Width: 470 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lord Blanesburgh also owned other works by Robinson including the watercolour 'Lesson Time' (1921), with the Fine Art Society in 2004. David Brown encouraged Gabrielle Keiller, widow of the heir to the Dundee marmalade firm, in her collecting. Her extensive Dada and Surrealist collection is now held in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and Brown persuaded her to buy this work for £6,000 because of its depiction of a sewing machine, a quintessentially surreal object. She later gave it to him.
Cayley Robinson began using tempera from 1901 after studying the technique in Florence.
David Brown championed Frederic Cayley Robinson in a 1977 Fine Art Society exhibition catalogue (Oct-Nov), remarking that his figures inhabit a 'silent, timeless world' in which 'there are symbolic allusions but no clear cut messages'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1926, London, RWS, no. 5
1969, London, FAS, no. 146
1977, London, FAS, no.70
2003/4 Dec-April, BM, Three Great Gifts: The David Brown Bequest
2010 July-Oct, London, National Gallery, Frederick Cayley Robinson: Acts of Mercy
2022 13 May- 18 September, Leamington Spa, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, Modern Pre-Raphaelite Visionaries: British Art 1880-1930
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number