'My way of life is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf...' (William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act 5, scene 3, lines 22-23)
This early painting by Farquharson was painted as Faquharson's sole exhibit for the Royal Academy of 1882, two years after he had graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy and a year after he had returned from Paris where he had trained in the atelier of the great painter Carolus-Duran. Sere and the Yellow Leaf has a PreRaphaelite fascination with detail and anticipates John Everett Millais' famous painting of a faggot-gatherer Glen Birnam painted almost a decade later. Farquharson himself returned to the same subject in 1905 when he painted Now Came Still Evening on in which another female figure makes her way homeward with firewood and again in 1909 with Winter.
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