This is a wonderful watercolour that depicts a debaucherous village town festival, filled with people drinking, celebrating and various other questionable activities. Modern moral subjects were a special kind of genre that was invented by William Hogarth which satirised the manners and morals of the period in which the artist lived. They were particular in their frankness and often biting social satire. Genre painting became hugely popular in the Victorian age and towards the end of the nineteenth century a new focus for genre painting emerged.
Joseph H Barnes was a London painter of domestic genre scenes in watercolour who exhibited at the Royal Academy, The Royal Society of British Artists, The New Watercolour Society and elsewhere. He exhibited between the years of 1867 and 1887. He was born in Liverpool but lived in London during the time that he was exhibiting.