The Departure (Second Class)

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Solomon exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1854 two contrasting paintings set in railway carriages: "Second Class—The Parting ('Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor')" and "First Class—The Meeting ('And at first meeting loved')". This print reproduces a version of the former now in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. It depicts the painful separation of a mother and her young son who has decided to try his luck and enlist in the British Royal Navy: posters in the second-class compartment advertise transport to the Australian cities of Sydney and Port Phillip. The works became popular and were published as a pair of large single-sheet prints in 1857, and the companion print is also in the Met's collection (66.628.16). In fact the works were so popular Solomon made other variant replicas of them.

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