Interior of one of the better kind of Irish cottages

Artist(s) : Daniel Maclise (Draughtsman), Daniel Maclise (Engraver)

Etching of a small, relatively comfortable Irish cottage. In direct central view is a fireplace with a black cooking-pot hanging from a crane. There are three adult figures (two seated women, one standing man) and four young children. From left to right, the cottage contains: a dresser with teapots, plates and jugs; a child (?) watching over a wicker cradle containing a sleeping baby; an old woman seated before the fire, half turned from the viewer; three white ducks feeding off the floor; poultry roosting high up to the left of the fireplace; a window with a rooster on the ledge; to the right, an open half-door and some pigs, also apparently feeding off the ground; a woman seated at a spinning-wheel; an infant between the legs of a chair reaching up towards a man who is standing with another child on his shoulders and kissing him.
In the List of Plates the title is given as 'Interior of a small Farmer's Cottage'.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Drawn & Etched by Daniel Maclise A.R.A.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Interior of one of the better kind of Irish cottages.

Image Details

Genre Genre painting
Technique Etchings
Subject(s) Architecture, Manners and customs, Rural life
Keywords(s) Buildings, Cabins, Children, Cottages, Houses, Interiors, Livestock, Men, People, Pigs, Shawls, Tools, Women
Colour Monochrome
Published / created 1836

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account A Tour round Ireland [Barrow]
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opposite p. 194
Source copy National Library of Ireland Ir 9141 b 3

Related text from travel account

Even while the small farmer is able, from his surplus produce, to pay his rent, his condition is far from enviable, but might with a little management be improved. If he can afford to keep a cow and a pig, he generally admits both to be partakers of the same apartment; and though his cottage may be a degree better than that of the labourer, yet it is kept equally filthy; everything within it being soiled with smoke and soot, and the puddle and the dunghill invariably found before the door. The rent of such a cottage, if built by the landlord, may be about 2l. a-year; turf, 30s.; the man’s clothing 40s.; the woman’s 30s.; and four children, say 30s.; making altogether 8l. 10s. The rent, say of three acres and a cow-grass, 9l. The routine of his crops is, potatoes, barley, and oats. The barley is sold to be distilled into whiskey, and [p. 194] this and the pig contribute to the payment of rent and fuel; and the potatoes, the cow, and the oatmeal, supply the family with food. The females are employed in spinning linen and woollen yarn, and in knitting worsted stockings; of the woollen yarn is manufactured a kind of frieze, druggets and flannels, the common wear of the peasantry: after supplying the family clothing, the surplus helps to pay the rent. [pp. 193-194]
Interior of one of the better kind of Irish cottages