Archer, who signed with a distictive monogram of his initials transfixed by an arrow, was a Scot who moved to London in 1862 to further his portrait practice. He was a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy, initially of Arthurian scenes: La Morte d'Arthur now belongs to Tate Britain. He had three daughters and a son, so this charming group could well be a portrait of his own family. The composition is reminiscent of his 1860 picture, Summertime, Gloucestershire, now in the National Gallery of Scotland.
We are grateful to Dr Joanna Soden of the Royal Scottish Academy for her assistance preparing this catalogue entry.