A New Love Song, Only Ha'penny a Piece: 1796

Anthony Cardon

A New Love Song, Only Ha'penny a Piece: 1796
4 0 c m
actual image size: 22cm x 29cm

Full image caption

One of a series of engravings derived from a set of paintings by Francis Wheatley entitled The ‘Cries of London’, ’A New Love Song, Only Ha'Penny a Piece" features an attractive street vendor selling songsheets. Wheatley’s paintings of the ‘Cries’ were exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1792 and 1795 and were extremely popular. As the paintings attracted a large amount of attention Colnaghi agreed to publish a set of engravings, of which this is one.

They portrayed a range of idealised street vendors selling a range of goods including primroses, milk, oranges, matches, mackerel, cherries and peas and highlight the fact that these street sellers advertised their goods with a musical shout or a melodic rhyme. They present a sanitised view of the London streets and through their frequent reproduction are in part responsible for the persistence of this romanticised view life on the London streets.

© Museum of London

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