'The Lazy One', Victorian oil painting by Banks

By Banks, J.O. (English, fl. 1856-1873)


This deftly painted picture, depicting a young family in an idyllic pastoral landscape, is a superb demonstration of the sentimentality of Victorian art.


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This fine painting by the English artist J. O. Banks is a wonderful example of Victorian art and its sensibilities and sentimentalities. The painting depicts a mother and three children in an idyllic pastoral landscape: the background is defined by gently rolling hills covered with woods, with the belfry of a church to the righthand side. The middle ground depicts pastureland, with a cow grazing to one side. The four figures are set close to the picture plane, by the edge of a stream. One child, dozing under the bright blue sky, is subject to the attention of the other figures, who admire, or are perhaps bemused by, his tranquil sleep. There is a hint of mischievousness, as the sleeping boy’s younger brother readies a handful of water to wake the napper. The painterly style is fluid and accomplished, while the bright and vibrant colour palette hints at the warmth and air of summer.

The artist, J. O. Banks, lived in London between 1856 and 1873, during which time he exhibited four works at the Royal Academy. The painting, contained within a giltwood frame, is signed lower right ‘J.O.Banks’.

This picture sold at Christie's in 1997 for £20,700.

Frame: Height 91cm, width 111cm, depth 10cm
Canvas: Height 71cm, width 92cm, depth 3cm


Artist / Maker
By Banks, J.O. (English, fl. 1856-1873)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Genre, Landscape, Victorian
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas


91 cm / 35.8 inches
111 cm / 43.7 inches
10 cm / 3.9 inches


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