Frederick George Cotman painted “One of the Family” in 1880 in Hurley-on-Thames. Hurley is a small village and large, rural civil parish in Berkshire, England. Its riverside is agricultural, except for Hurley Priory, as are the outskirts of the village. The adjoining Black Boys Inn is believed to date to 1135. The scene pictured is set inside the inn, with the innkeeper’s family, the Steers, modeling the people depicted in the scene. The original can be admired at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, UK.
If anyone were to ask me what I think heaven on earth looks like, I’d point to this painting and let the person asking figure it out from there. So let me invite you to take a closer look…
The father, coming in from work to have his meal.
The wife and mother, feeding the horse (and probably the begging dog as well), with her daughter (as featured) longing to do the very same thing.
The older son, hungry as only small boys and Hobbits can be.
The younger son, close to Granny.
And Granny, cutting meat dangerously. Great-Grandma used to cut bread in just the same crazy manner!
What more can one possibly want in life?