Coming Down to Dinner

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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An imagined domestic scene in seventeenth-century costume, showing a group of figures processing down a staircase into the hallway of a stately home to be greeted and waited on by staff. The staircase dominates the centre of the composition and the light from the leaded glass windows that run down the far wall illuminate all the figures processing down it. At the head of the group is a regal boy, followed by a woman and an older man who walk together. Behind them is a man of the church, who has paused on a bend in the staircase to admire a painting hung on the wall; behind him are another three figures, only partially visible. The figures descend into a large hallway with a chequered stone floor and dark, wood-panelled walls. At the foot of the stairs, to the right, is a bearded man wearing a ruff, standing to attention and holding a rod parallel to his body in an outstretched left arm.

Manchester Art Gallery



Coming Down to Dinner




oil on canvas


H 124.1 x W 163 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Henry Lee, 1905

Work type


Inscription description

Signed and dated at right bottom: J.C.Horsley. 1876


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Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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