Francis Cotes, Lewis Cage ('The Young Cricketer')

 

 

The Changing Face of Childhood:
British Children's Portraits and their Influence in Europe

 

 

Lewis Cage 'The Young Cricketer'
Private Collection

 

 

Francis Cotes (1725-1770) Born in London he was one of the leading English pastel artists. This painting of Lewis Cage is thought to be the earliest oil painting executed by Cotes. Showing Lewis Cage in a pose similar to a military commander against a dark stormy sky. He is full of self confidence and defiance with his hand on hip while the other hand holds his cricket bat. Although the painting is militaristic in execution, this shows a young child successful in his game of cricket, socks askew, shirt undone that has become untucked from his trousers. This shows a child outside, playing and learning, children were becoming children in their own right.