Covent Garden Flower Women

Street Life in London

Covent Garden Flower Women

1877

John Thomson

(Scottish, 1837-1921)

Woodburytype

Image: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Paper: 11 x 7.9 cm (4 5/16 x 3 1/8 in.); Mounted: 27.1 x 20.8 cm (10 11/16 x 8 3/16 in.)

Photography Discretionary Fund 2019.49

Fun Fact

These are the real-life counterparts of Eliza Doolittle in the musical My Fair Lady, who started out selling flowers in Covent Garden.

Description

Thomson’s collaborator, reporter Adolphe Smith said that “The familiar sight of a poor woman holding a pale child in her arms and offering modest violets to the pedestrian, is pregnant with a poetry which rags, and dirt fail to obliterate.” The jobs, which were passed down between generations, required worked long hours and yielded a meager income.

See also
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph
Medium: 
Woodburytype

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