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Scene depicting a group of highwaymen holding up the carriage of Lady Aurora Sydney carrying a young woman who has been made to dance with the captain of the band of men, Claude Duval, as part of her ransom. The event takes place on a bleak heathland road under a cloudy sky. In the centre of the composition are the dancing figures of captor and hostage: he stands masked, with his right arm raised, his left hand (holding a feathered cap) placed on his hip and his right foot pointed forward, facing away from the viewer; she stands forward-facing, holding her skirts out to the side, with her left foot pointed forward, an alarmed expression on her face. Behind them is the carriage containing the slumped figure of a young woman who has fainted and that of an old woman pleading with a highwayman; the driver of the coach has a pistol pointed at his head as one of the men cuts the harnesses of the coach-horses, to the right.
oil on canvas
H 108.8 x W 153 cm
gift from Mr James Gresham, 1917