German 1841 – 1902
There was a great appetite for sentimental paintings of children in the 19th century both in England and on the continent. and the Munich painter Heinrich Hirt ploughed a rich furrow with his depictions of children – usually engaged in an activity that signified either their preoccupations or their place in the family. Heinrich Hirt was a member of the Munich school of artists and exhibited in Berlin and Munich from 1872.
The Little Seamstress is a fine example of Heinrich Hirt’s style. It depicts two very endearing little girls, possibly sisters, engrossed in the activity of making clothes for their doll from scraps of cloth. One, the older of the two cuts the fabric while her younger sister threads a needle. Both are concentrating deeply on their work. Perhaps their own mother is a seamstress and this is early training for daughters destined to follow in her footsteps.
These girls wear worn, patched and ragged clothes and shoes, their hair is slightly unkempt and their workroom is nothing but a dark scullery yet they have plump and rosy cheeks which make them all the more appealing.
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