Tuesday, August 3, 2010

"The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit"

I took three art history courses in college and I loved each one of them. Sure, they involved some lengthy lecturing and an abundance of slide presentations, but the professors I had were charismatic and enlightening and every time they talked about a piece of art it was if they were discussing it for the first time- there was genuine enthusiasm.
In a survey course, we briefly discussed the John Singer Sargent painting "The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit". It was fascinating to me, not only  because of its significance as a piece of art, but those dark and melancholy girls.....they were haunting. Plus, I had actually viewed the painting in person and that always added a layer of interest for me.

Recently, I saw that Erica E. Hirshler, a Senior Curator at the MFA Boston, wrote a book about this captivating painting, Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting. She, of course, discusses the artistic significance of the piece, yet she also delves into the lives of the painting's subjects and I am anxious to learn about them. The questions I had about Sargent's painting back in college were not about composition or technique, I was interested in who these people were. I guess amazing portraits do that- curiosities are piqued- and I am hoping Hirshler's book answers some of my questions. I can't wait to find out.

1 comment:

  1. It is such an amazing painting. Even more captivating in person. Would love to know more about the daughters too!



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