|And When Did ou Last See Your Father|
William Frederick Yeames, 1878
The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
|A wax tableau of the painting in Madame Tussauds, London|
Yeames, the son of the British ambassador to Russia, studied art in Italy and returned to England where he helped form an association of artists known as The St. John’s Wood Clique. Unlike many groups of artists, the members of The Saint John’s Wood Clique preferred traditional and upscale pursuits over a bohemian lifestyle. Yeames, like his companions, specialized in historical subjects and British themes. Yeames’ goal with this painting, as with most of his works, was to create what he called a “Problem Picture” wherein a paradox or difficult moral decision was posed to the viewer of the painting.And When Did You Last See Your Father? was instantly a social triumph, inspiring a popular song in 1890 and becoming the subject of a wax tableau which is still displayed at Madame Tussauds in London.