M9126.96.36.199 | Fishing scene on the shore
Fishing scene on the shore
John Henry Walker (1831-1899)
About 1860-1870, 19th century
Ink on paper on supporting paper - Wood engraving
10.5 x 12.6 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Genre (188) , Print (10661)
Keys to History
The labels on cans, soap, yeast and other food and household goods-most of them industrial products which working-class consumers could afford-were exceptionally colourful for the time. Red, blue and green were the most popular colours.
Source : A Consuming Passion [Web tour], by Joanne Burgess, Université du Québec à Montréal (see Links)
This engraving is part of a label designed for a tin of mackerel. It is essentially decorative.
The artist has composed a picturesque, romantic scene. It could be anywhere on the North Atlantic coast. We see women on the shoreline in the foreground and fishing boats off in the distance.
The fishermen are returning after a day at sea. The wicker baskets brimming with fish indicate that the catch was good.
Women played a vital role in getting the fish ready to be sold at market. They prepared fish like cod to be dried, and mackerel and salmon to be canned.