This is Hogarth's most ambitious portrait of children. He gives the figures in this large painting something of the same frank grandeur found in his portraits of adults, without losing a sense of childish gaiety.
Note, however, that the clock on the mantelpiece is decorated with the figure of Cupid holding a scythe and standing beside an hour-glass, both symbols of death. Opposite, an animated cat has climbed the back of a chair and gazes at the caged bird. We know that the baby was dead when the portrait was painted, and this probably accounts for the sombre references to mortality, at a time when many children died in infancy.