Per Kvaerne, Singing Songs of the Scottish Heart – William McTaggart 1835-1910, 2007, illustrated p.108 colour plate 109
William McTaggart was a native of Kintyre and therefore had a strong connection with the sea and with the west-coast fishermen, their boats and their families. In the late 1860s he painted a series of pictures of children from the herring-fishing communities, either playing amongst themselves or helping the adults to mend nets or bring in the catch on the shore. The side-long glance of the boy in present picture demonstrates McTaggart’s adoption of the conventions of mid-Victorian portraiture, whilst his clothing shows the artist’s desire to be more realistic in his portrayals.
The canvas has been lined. There is some very fine craquelure in the upper portion of the canvas, however, this is only visible on close inspection. There is a speck of paint loss to the upper left hand framing edge. Otherwise the work appears to be in good condition and is clean and ready to hang.
UV light inspection reveals areas of flecked retouching to the sky and framign edges. There is a minor touch to the boy's nose. However, more accurate reading is obscured by a layer of opaque varnish.
Held in a decorative gilt frame and slip. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."