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Farm workers shearing sheep, while a young woman decorates with flowers the hat of a young man bringing food. Stipple engraving by F. Bartolozzi, 1798, after W. Hamilton.

  • Hamilton, William, 1751-1801.
Sep.r 5, 1798
  • Pictures

About this work


An episode described in the poem 'Summer' (17267, in 'The seasons' by James Thomson: "At last, of snowy white, the gather'd flocks / Are in the wattled pen innumerous press'd, / Head above head: and ranged in lusty rows / The shepherds sit, and whet the sounding shears. / The housewife waits to roll her fleecy stores, / With all her gay-drest maids attending round. / One, chief, in gracious dignity enthroned, / Shines o'er the rest, the pastoral queen, and rays / Her smiles, sweet-beaming, on her shepherd-king; / While the glad circle round them yield their souls / To festive mirth, and wit that knows no gall. / Meantime, their joyous task goes on apace: / Some mingling stir the melted tar, and some, / Deep on the new-shorn vagrant's heaving side, / To stamp the master's cypher ready stand; / Others the unwilling wether drag along; / And, glorying in his might, the sturdy boy / Holds by the twisted horns the indignant ram. / Behold where bound, and of its robe bereft, / By needy man, that all-depending lord, / How meek, how patient, the mild creature lies! / What softness in its melancholy face, / What dumb complaining innocence appears! / Fear not, ye gentle tribes, 'tis not the knife / Of horrid slaughter that is o'er you waved; / No, 'tis the tender swain's well-guided shears, / Who having now, to pay his annual care, / Borrow'd your fleece, to you a cumbrous load, / Will send you bounding to your hills again."


London (No. 49 New Bond Street) : Pubd. as the Act directs ... by P. W. Tomkins, Sep.r 5, 1798.

Physical description

1 print : stipple engraving ; image and border 20.7 x 25.8 cm


Sheep-shearing. Painted by W. Hamilton R.A. Engraved by F. Bartolozzi R.A. engraver to His Majesty.


[State with "Sheep-shearing" in open lettering instead of "Summer"].


Wellcome Library no. 2823105i



  • English

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