50. Picnic by Canal
25.4 x 30.5cm. Canvas with home-made frame
This painting is clearly related to the larger canal scene and based on the same bridge and bend in the canal. It is also comic in spirit. The children in the rowing boat are in a pickle, with their oars crossed. The subject, though apparently less fantastic than that of the larger painting, is only marginally so since, at least in Ivor's time, no picnics would even have been considered on this towpath. The painting also shares with his larger canal study a group of crows in the sky. Human pleasures in a beautiful nature are threatened, he seems to say, even when people are at their most carefree. With the recent loss of his wife, this truth had been forced upon him. John Keats, with 'in the very temple of delight Veil'd Melancholy has her Sovran shrine', put into words what Ivor tried to paint.