©Wellcome Library, London

This painting (and the following one) were commissioned by the Royal Humane Society. The picture shows a river scene with a flat-bottomed boat containing 3 men, one of whom holds a punt pole to steady the boat whilst the other 2 attempt to lift the body from the water. A fourth man has waded into the river to support the body. A well dressed man in blue coat and red waistcoat is waiting to receive the body. On the bank, a fainting woman in a green dress is being supported by a young man. Two small children clutch at her skirts.

Watercolour by Robert Smirke (1752-1845).