See paintings by AE Mulready
AE Mulready was much younger than the other members of the Cranbrook Colony and his subject matter was rather different. He came into contact with the group because of a longstanding family friendship with John Callcott Horsley. Mulready’s grandfather the painter William Mulready Senior (1786-1863) had originally encouraged the young Horsley to pursue an artistic career and from that time both families had maintained a close relationship. Mulready had a troubled relationship with his own father, William Mulready Junior (1805-1878) and Horsley took him under his wing offering valuable advice and support. All three generations of the Mulready family were regular visitors to the Horsley family’s home in Cranbrook but A.E. Mulready actually stayed with the Horsley family for some time and even sat for some of Horsley’s pictures. Between 1871-1874 he lived next door to F.D. Hardy in Waterloo Place.
Mulready experimented with genre painting but most of his paintings depicted street children in London and reflected on the social issues of the time. For contemporary viewers they would have brought to mind the novels of Victor Hugo (1802-1885) and Charles Dickens (1812-1870) with their themes of homelessness and abandonment. Perhaps, they also echoed the artist’s own troubled childhood.