The present work dates from only a year after Grimshaw had given up his job on the railways and had his first exhibition in Leeds at the Philosophical Hall. The same skill at the observation of different textures of moss and lichen on stone and the various plant forms can also be seen in A Mossy Glen, (1864) (Halifax, Bankfield Museum) and Newlay Wood, (1861). At this time, Grimshaw had a direct link with those artists connected with the Pre-Raphaelite movement through Thomas Plint, a stockbroker living in Leeds in the 1850s, who had amassed a considerable collection of works by artists such as Ford Madox Brown and Arthur Hughes. His collection was frequently exhibited by local dealers in Leeds and he also lent works to the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society's annual exhibitions.
It has been suggested that the child in the present work may have been inspired by one of Grimshaw's own children.
We are grateful to Alexander Robertson, Curator, Leeds City Art Gallery, for his help in the preparation of this catalogue entry.