'The Sonnet', oil painting on panel by William Mulready, Great Britain, 1839. Museum no. FA.146. Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

'The Sonnet', oil painting on panel by William Mulready, Great Britain, 1839. Museum no. FA.146. Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

This was one of the artist's most popular works. A critic observed: 'The youth is fiddling with his shoe-tie, but casting a upwards sly look, to ascertain what effect his lines produce upon the merry maid who reads them...placing her hand before her lips to suppress her laughter'.