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Army life in the early nineteenth century could be harsh – but the punishment for trying to escape could be harsher. Flogging, branding or even hanging, might await captured deserters, most of whom were new recruits unused to the discipline, or men about to be sent abroad without their families. Kidd has constructed the scene in a way that is sympathetic to the deserter. The fainting woman and the smashed crockery indicate a harmonious domestic life that has been destroyed by the violent intrusion of soldiers.
oil on canvas
H 51 x W 61.2 cm
gift from Sir Alec and Lady Martin, 1964