Exhibited at the RA in 1830 (197) and at the British Institution in 1831. The RA catalogue quotes a verse by S.C. Hall (1800-89): 'Silently eloquent/ By the way-side those gentle orphans stood,/ Not asking aid, save by those looks and tears/ That tell their tale - poor desolate ones! -/ The blight of winter hath come o'er their spring./ Oh! for some blessed beam to cherish them.' The left-hand figure recalls Lawrence's 'Lady Georgiana Fane' of 1806 (Tate Britain), engraved in 1826.
With DPG453 ('Endymion'), 'The Orphans' was cited in Wood's obituary as a work which particularly contributed to his contemporary reputation.