The Last Match
By William Small

The Last Match
By William Small (1843-1929)
In the Tate Gallery, London

Mr. Small was born in 1843,and is a native of Edinburgh. He displayed a talent for drawing at an early age, and when he was about sixteen years old was engaged by a master wood-engraver to do any drawings that he seemed capable of producing satisfactorily. His principal work consisted of making drawings for catalogues, such as bedsteads, gas brackets, and the like. He well remembers sketching the Henry rifle ( the predecessor of the celebrated Martini-Henry) when it was first constructed in Edinburgh. All this work taught him accurate drawing, and in his leisure he was improving his knowledge of art by attending the School of Design, where, he says, "I had the luck to have one or two splendid masters." "That training," he continues, "combined with the experience of having to draw whatever I was ordered to do during the day, gave me the facility which was required at that time to draw on wood for engraving."

In 1865 Mr. Small journeyed to London to seek an enlarged field for his activities. He was first employed by Cassell's, and after some years of magazine work he joined the staff of the "Graphic," to which paper he devoted the major part of his time.

The simple incident depicted in "The Last Match" was witnessed by the artist in Galway, and he made a note of it at once as he thought it was a good subject. An Irish peasant, who was returning from market with his pig, stopped to light his last match in his hat, while his daughter shielded the precious flame from the wind with her cloak. It is interesting to note that animal painters, in Mr. Small's words, "rather like the pig."

From the book "Famous Paintings" printed in 1913.

Large files of this public domain print are available at Stock Photos at Songs of Praise
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Online "Name the Painting"

William Small

William Small
Victorian Web

William Small
Golden Age Paintings

William Small
paintings at Art Net

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Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page )
What is the worth of this print? It has been in my family for fore generations. Vicki O'Nan
I searched for the print on EBay and found several for $10-$14. http://www.ebay.com/

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Index Page
Famous Paintings