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SIGNED WITH MONOGRAM AND DATED 1886
INSCRIBED WITH TITLE AND PUBLICATION DETAILS ON ORIGINAL MOUNT
8 1/4 X 6 1/4 INCHES
PROVENANCE: MARY GREEN (NEE TENNIEL). THE ARTIST'S SISTER,
AND THENCE BY FAMILY DESCENT
ILLUSTRATED: PUNCH, 24 APRIL 1886, PAGE 199
EXHIBITED: 'THE ILLUSTRATORS. THE BRITISH ART OF ILLUSTRATION 1837-2012',
NOVEMBER 2012 - JANUARY 2013, NO 123
The divided skirt – that is, trousers that hang like a skirt – was developed during the nineteenth century as a garment that allowed women greater freedom while preserving their dignity. Following the foundation of the Rational Dress Society in 1881, it became increasingly associated with female emancipation.
Tenniel uses this expression of emancipation as a symbol for the Government of Ireland Bill, the first attempt at Irish Home Rule, which was introduced by Gladstone, as Liberal Prime Minister, in April 1886. Its failure, in the June, contributed to the dissolution of parliament and a general election, which was won by the Conservative Party led by Lord Salisbury.