After the War

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Joan Eardley

Street Kids
Urban life and impoverished domestic scenes were a common subject for post-war artists, who recognised the importance of showing everyday situations and ‘real people’ in art. Eardley took her subject matter from the area surrounding her Glasgow studio, painting the children who played in the run-down streets. Although her paintings do not have a political or socialist agenda, they pick up on contemporary social themes by showing real individuals in their own surroundings of the city. While the children in this painting are from a poor, working-class area, the image is neither grim nor stereotypical. Instead, the use of vibrant colours suggests the children’s contentment, each absorbed in play.
  • Credits Purchased with funds given by an anonymous donor 1964
  • Medium Oil on canvas, laid on board
  • Size 102.90 x 73.70 cm (framed: 117.70 x 82.50 x 6.70 cm)
© The Eardley Estate


Rationing of food, clothing and petrol continued for several years after the end of the war. Many children were affected by sweet rationing, which ended in Britain in 1949 but was later reintroduced until 1953 due to high demand.