© Jonathan Hewitt
Who is the gentleman who sat for Belcher in this picture? His name is Thomas Jagger, he had retired from the Army as a Sergeant, he was approached by Belcher and was asked to sit for him, he was given the cornet and paid then the princely sum of £3-10s.
Thomas is a distant relative, he couldn’t play the cornet and if you looked closely at the original picture you would see that the music sheet is upside down!
Belcher gaining the rare distinction, for a humorous artist, contributing regularly to Punch.
His best-known oil, exhibited at the Academy in 1936, and the Academy's award-winner of the year. Belcher once described the painting as "a picture of a shabby though very happy gentleman who is obviously a street musician”.
He is at home, seated at his table, you can see how he has been enjoying himself - there are heads and tails of herrings on a plate, a bottle which has contained stout, and a glass which betrays the fact that he has drunk the stout.
The happy gentleman is all alone and he is leaning back in his chair, playing his cornet, what is he playing? Well, I've called the picture “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls".
George Belcher RA
"I Dreamt I Dwelt In Marble Halls"