The Museum has an impressive collection of paintings on display in the Galleries. They demonstrate changing attitudes to children and childhood since the 1600s, and represent historical play, learning and costume. Many are on loan from the paintings collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. 

A Girl Writing: The Pet Goldfinch

A Girl Writing: The Pet Goldfinch

By Henriette Browne, about 1870.This sensitive portrait exemplifies the interest in everyday life and close observation of nature.

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A Little Girl Nursing a Kitten

A Little Girl Nursing a Kitten

By James Northcote, 1795. This is an example of an 18th century 'fancy picture', a pleasing or entertaining sentimental depiction.

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Beating for Recruits

Beating for Recruits

By Thomas Webster, about 1850. The children in this painting are pretending to recruit their playmates in the style of a military recruitment drive.

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Boys Playing at Peg-top

Boys Playing at Peg-top

By Richard Morton Paye, about 1800. The boys depicted here have found an ideal site to play with their top.

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Children Playing at Doctors

Children Playing at Doctors

By Frederick Daniel Hardy, 1863. The children here are playing while their mother and grandmother are out of the house.

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Euterpe, Alec and Cotz Ionides

Euterpe, Alec and Cotz Ionides

By Georges Bellenger, 1869. This painting portrays the three eldest children of Constantine Ionides and his wife Agathonike.

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Going to the Fair

Going to the Fair

By Thomas Webster, 1837. One of two companion paintings showing a family going to, and returning from, a travelling fair.

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Good Morning Mamma!

Good Morning Mamma!

By Samuel Baruch Halle, about 1859. It depicts a young child in a nightshirt embracing his mother.

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The Maths Lesson

The Maths Lesson

By an unknown artist, around 1850. This painting depicts a brown-haired boy dressed in black frock coat looking in a perplexed manner at a wooden framed slate

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Portrait of a Baby

Portrait of a Baby

Attributed to the Circle of Mary Beale. It is unusual in Britain in the 18th century to find a portrait of a baby by itself.

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Portrait of an Unknown Woman and Child

Portrait of an Unknown Woman and Child

By Andrea Soldi, about 1740. Mother and child in contrasting satin clothes of bright blue and white.

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Portrait of a Young Girl

Portrait of a Young Girl

By an unknown artist, about 1730. This proud young lady is wearing a scoop-necked blue dress with elbow-length sleeves.

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Zoe Ionides

Zoe Ionides

By George Frederick Watts, 1881. Zoe Ionides was the seventh child of a successful and wealthy merchant who became a patron of the arts.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA