Evening; Return from the Hop fields presents a classic image of rural life in the late 19th century. The prominent position of women and children at the heart of the composition immediately stresses the involvement of the entire family in each day's hard work and is highly reminiscent of works such as Walter Frederick Osborne's Potato Gathering (1888, Private Collection).
Like Osborne, Staples had studied on the continent and attended Louvain Academy of Fine Arts before studying under Jean François Portaels in Brussels from 1872 - 74. Staples returned to Ireland to run the family estate in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone around 1905 and lived there permanently from 1912. As well as a talented artist, he featured prominantly in local politics and was a member of the United Irish League.
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