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MFA Images: Dining Room

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  • Still Life

    about 1910–13
    Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American (born in Canada), 1858–1924)

    Description

    One of America’s early modernists, Prendergast painted some fifteen innovative fruit still lifes, probably between 1910 and 1913. Prendergast rarely exhibited or sold his still lifes, and they are difficult to date. The only one of his fruit pieces which can be securely dated is “Apples and a Pear on the Grass” (1912, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art), which Prendergast painted on a visit with the American artist William Glackens [59.658] and his wife. He also completed about fifteen flower pieces during this period [see “Flowers in a Blue Vase,” 48.589].

    Prendergast seems to have painted these still lifes as a way to come to terms with the work of Paul Cézanne, whose pictures he had studied on a trip to Paris in 1907. At the time, Paris was full of avant-garde artists, but Prendergast wrote, “I think Cézanne will influence me more than the others… He left everything to the imagination. [His paintings] are great for their symplicity [sic] and suggestive qualities,” (quoted in Nancy Mowll Mathews, “Maurice Prendergast,” Williamstown, Mass. and Munich: Williams College and Prestel-Verlag, 1990, p. 25). All of Prendergast’s fruit pieces include apples, which were also prominently featured by Cézanne. Like the French artist, Prendergast modeled these round forms by using patches of color rather than shaded tones, and he outlined the objects in dark pigment to differentiate them from the background. The slight tilt of the tabletop and the white napkin under the fruit in “Still Life” also recall Cézanne’s work. Yet Prendergast did not slavishly copy the older artist. He incorporated Cézanne’s ideas into his own mature style, which because of its decorative qualities, has variously been described as comparable to mosaics, tapestries, or brocades. Prendergast’s brush strokes, evenly distributed and each equally vigorous, create an overall pattern in his paintings.

    The MFA’s canvas differs from Prendergast’s other still lifes; here he included more high-style objects, like the silver urn, the porcelain tea pot, cup, and saucer. While Prendergast dispensed with traditional illusionistic devices such as shadows and shading, he did include reflections on the silver urn, simplifying them into patches of color that correspond to nearby objects. Another unusual feature is the compote, which is repeated in the background as if it stood before a mirror, but the reflection does not replicate exactly what appears on the table. Such a ghost image also appears in Prendergast’s “Cinerarias and Fruit” (about 1910-1913, Whitney Museum of American Art). Prendergast’s “Still Life,” with its rich surface texture, dynamic composition, and dazzling colors, communicates a vital energy rare in this genre of painting.

    When Prendergast died in 1924, he left “Still Life” (along with the rest of his estate) to his brother Charles, also an artist [see “Flowers,” 48.840]. Charles’s widow, Eugénie Prendergast, gave “Still Life,” as well as “Portrait of Maurice Prendergast’s Father” [69.1262], and “Woman in Brown Coat” [68.585] to the MFA, thereby ensuring that the Museum’s collection would include the full range of the painter’s work.

    Janet Comey

    Inscription

    Upper left: Prendergast

    Provenance

    The artist; to Charles Prendergast, his brother, 1924; to Mrs. Charles Prendergast, 1948; to MFA, 1970, gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast in honor of Perry T. Rathbone

    Details

    Dimensions

    48.89 x 53.66 cm (19 1/4 x 21 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1970.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Tomatoes, Fruit, and Flowers

    about 1860
    Unidentified artist, American, mid-19th century (American)

    Description

    Interest in still-life paintings burgeoned in mid-nineteenth-century America. Large images of varied objects, like this one, were popular for dining rooms, suggesting abundance, well-being, and hospitality. The compote piled high with fruit, bone-handled knife, melons, grapes with their leaves, and flowers are also found in the work of contemporary academic still-life painters such as Severin Roesen and John F. Francis. Their objects, as here, are arranged against a monochrome background modulated with muted light. Unlike academic still lifes, however, this painting seems more additive than integrated. The emphasis is less on texture and atmosphere - a sense of the whole - than on discrete shapes and emphatic contours.
    Although most of the objects in this image are commonplace, paintings including tomatoes are rare, possibly because many people neither liked nor trusted this fruit. In 1852, for example, a Harvard-educated doctor claimed that tomatoes caused teeth to become so loose they could be easily removed with the fingers.

    This text was adapted from Gerald W. R. Ward, et al, “American Folk” (Boston, MFA Publications, 2001).

    Provenance

    The artist; with a Vermont dealer; with Charles D. Childs, Boston; with Harry Stone, New York, 1947; to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1947; to MFA, 1947, gift of Martha C. (Mrs. Maxim) Karolik.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

    Details

    Dimensions

    50.8 x 80.01 cm (20 x 31 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    47.1265

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris: Bronzes

    The New Opera of Paris: Bronzes

    1879
    Louis-Emile Durandelle (French, 1839–1917 French)

    Description

    Inscription

    On mount, below photo, printed in black letterpress: Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris / Bronzes / Ducher et Cie, Editeurs / Durandelle, Photographe.

    Provenance

    Lee Gallery, Winchester, MA; from whom purchased by MFA, March 2000.

    Credit Line

    Charles Amos Cummings Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 37.3 x 24.7 cm (14 11/16 x 9 3/4 in.) Mount: 59.6 x 44 cm (23 7/16 x 17 5/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2000.571

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, albumen print

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • Ferme du Parc de Courances

    1860s
    Eugène Cuvelier (French, 1837–1900 French)

    Description

    Eugene Cuvelier was an important early photographer who worked in the northern French town of Arras and then in the region of Barbizon and the forest of Fontainebleau. His style was influenced by his Barbizon painter friends, including Camille Corot and Theodore Rousseau, and his work reveals the rich dialogue between French painting and photography in this period. His images express, in theme and variation, the moods of the rural landscape. This monumental view of a barn and clump of trees evokes the moody, forlorn atmosphere of the estate of the Chateau de Courances, which was located about ten miles from Fontainebleau and had been abandoned for some thirty years.

    Inscription

    Numbered 296 by the photographer in the negative; titled by an unidentified hand in graphite on mount, l.r.: Ferme du Parc de Courances

    Provenance

    John Chandler Bancroft, Middletown, R.I.; to Gustave J.S. White Co., Auctioneers, Newport, R.I., 1989; sold to Mack Lee and William S. Schaeffer, 1989; to unknown collectors; sold at Sotheby's New York, April 13, 2007; purchased at auction by MFA April 13, 2007

    Credit Line

    Edwin E. Jack Fund, William Francis Warden Fund, Arthur Tracy Cabot Fund, Gift of Jessie H. Wilkinson -- Jessie H. Wilkinson Fund, Susan Cornelia Warren Fund, Mary L. Smith Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund, Helen B. Sweeney Fund, Frank M. and Mary T. B. Ferrin Fund, and Alice M. Bartlett Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 25.6 x 33.4 cm (10 1/16 x 13 1/8 in.) Mount: 56.2 x 70.9 cm (22 1/8 x 27 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2007.353

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, salted paper print from paper negative

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • Black Duck

    1940–41
    Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: M.H/40-41; Reverse: Black Duck/#2; Black Duck #2

    Provenance

    The artist; with Dikran G. Kelekian, New York, by 1942; to MFA, 1943, purchased for $500.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    71.75 x 55.88 cm (28 1/4 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    43.32

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on Masonite

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • The Tea

    Le Thé

    about 1880
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Cassatt’s paintings often document the social interactions of well-to-do women like herself. The activities they depict—tea drinking, going to the theatre, tending children—fall within the normal routine for Cassatt’s sex and class. Yet the painter’s insistence upon representing such episodes from the modern world (even a sheltered segment of it), her dislike for narrative, and her devotion to surface arrangement and color, all evident in The Tea, mark Cassatt’s dedication to the most advanced artistic principles of her day. In 1877 Cassatt had been invited by Edgar Degas to join a group of independent artists, later known as the Impressionists. “I accepted with joy,” she later recalled. “I hated conventional art.” [1]She was one of just a few women, and the only American, to exhibit with the group.

    In the late 1870s and early 1880s, Cassatt made a number of images that show women participating in the domestic and social ritual of drinking tea. Among these works are two related oils, The Cup of Tea (about 1880–81) and Lady at the Tea Table (1883–85), both in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and a number of prints, among them the MFA’s Tea [M25007] and Afternoon Tea Party [41.811]. Cassatt’s painting The Tea is set in a contemporary drawing room, sometimes described as Cassatt’s own. The fine striped wallpaper and carved marble fireplace, ornamented with an elaborately framed painting and a porcelain jar, are typical of an upper-middle class Parisian interior, and the antique silver tea service on the foreground table implies a distinguished family history. The two women play the traditional roles of hostess and guest, although it appears that their conversation has lapsed: the hostess (on the left, in a simple brown day dress) rests her hand on her chin while her guest (wearing the hat, scarf, and gloves that indicate she has stepped in from outside) sips her tea. The hostess is often identified as Cassatt’s sister Lydia and the guest as a family friend, but it is equally likely the women were Cassatt’s usual models, one brunette and one blonde; the women appear in several of Cassatt’s contemporary scenes of women at the opera.

    Despite these conservative and tasteful surroundings, Cassatt’s painting is a declaration of modernity that demonstrates her rejection of several traditional artistic conventions. First, Cassatt denies the human form its usual compositional primacy: the tea service seems larger in scale than the women themselves. This pictorial conceit of giving inanimate objects equal priority with figures was sometimes employed by Cassatt’s friend Degas. Cassatt further defies custom by obscuring the face of her subject, rendering the guest in the transitory act of drinking. The guest’s pose is a momentary one, for she will soon lift the delicate cup from her lips and replace it on the saucer she balances in her left hand. By selecting the only point in the action when her subject’s face is almost completely hidden by the teacup, Cassatt reiterates her modernist creed that her painting is not only about representing likeness, but also about design and color. She uses the oval shapes of cups and saucers, trays, hats, and faces as repetitive patterns, offsetting the strict graphic geometry of the gray and rose striped wallpaper.

    Cassatt’s concentration upon the formal elements of her composition earned her disapproval from contemporary critics when the painting was first shown in Paris during the fifth Impressionist exhibition of 1880. Paul Mantz, generally a conservative writer, called it “poorly drawn” and commented upon the “wretched sugar bowl [which] remains floating in the air like a dream,”[2] while Philippe Burty, a respected critic who often supported the Impressionists, regretted her “partially completed image[s].” [3]Responding perhaps both to the custom of tea drinking and to the proper, bourgeois interior represented here, the sympathetic commentator J.-K. Huysmans wrote, “Miss Cassatt is evidently also a pupil of English painters” and concluded that The Tea was an “excellent canvas.”[4]

    Cassatt’s painting was quickly purchased by the great French art collector Henri Rouart, who hung it in a small salon in his home, not far from a pastel of women at a milliner’s shop made by their mutual friend Degas (At the Milliner’s, 1882, MuseoThyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid). After Rouart’s death in 1912, his collection was dispersed at auction in Paris; another important connoisseur, Dikran Kelekian, an internationally renowned dealer in near eastern antiquities and a staunch supporter of modern French art, acquired The Tea soon thereafter. The silver tea service Cassatt depicted was part of a family set made in Philadelphia about 1813, of which six pieces (but not the tray) are now in the MFA’s collection [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?credit_line=Anonymous%20gift%20in%20honor%20of%20Eugenia%20Cassatt%20Madeira].

    Notes
    1. Achille Segard, Mary Cassatt: Un peintre des enfants et des mères (Paris: Librairie Paul Ollendorff,1913), 8.
    2. Paul Mantz, “Exposition des Oeuvres des Artistes Indépendants,” Le Temps, April 14, 1880,
    3. Philippe Burty, “Exposition des Oeuvres des Artistes Indépendants,” La République Française, April 10, 1880, 2.
    4. Joris-Karl Huysmans, “L’exposition des Indépendants en 1880,” in L’art moderne (Paris, 1883), 110.

    Erica E. Hirshler

    Inscription

    Signed lower left: Mary Cassatt

    Provenance

    About 1881, sold by the artist to Henri Rouart (1833-1912), Paris; Dec. 9-11, 1912, Henri Rouart sale, Galerie Manzi-Joyant, Paris, lot 9, to Dikran G. Kelekian (1868-1951), Paris; 1942, sold by Dikran Kelekian to the MFA for $6,000. (Accession Date: April 9, 1942)

    Credit Line

    M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 78

    Dimensions

    64.77 x 92.07 cm (25 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.178

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Suzanne and Terrence Murray Gallery (Gallery 226)

    Collections

    Americas

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  • Three White Tulips

    1912
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    Early in his career during several trips to Europe between 1904 and 1909, Sheeler became acquainted with modernism. He was particularly astonished by the paintings by Picasso, Braque, and Cézanne he saw during a visit to Michael Stein’s (avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein’s brother) Paris apartment. Sheeler wrote of his reaction, “They were strange pictures which no amount of description, of which I had considerable in advance, could prepare me for the shock of coming upon them for the first time…But this much was evident in spite of the bewilderment, that something profound was in the making,” (Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, “Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings,” Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987, p. 44). Over the next few years Sheeler turned away from the fluid, popular style of painting he had learned from William Merritt Chase, and began to investigate the a more classical, structured manner of painting, inspired, for the most part, by Cézanne.
    During the 1910s, Sheeler often worked in series, setting himself compositional problems with a limited number of variables and conscientiously exploring their permutations, as though he were following a deliberate program of self-education. “Three White Tulips” belongs to one such series, of which three additional examples have been located, each painted in 1912 in oil on panel and each measuring approximately fourteen by ten and one half inches. In all four pictures, Sheeler adhered to the same general formula, with only minor variations in the number of flowers, their arrangement, and the vessel that holds them. One of the pictures (“Red Tulips,” Regis Collection, Minneapolis) was sent to the 1913 Armory Show, the first great show of modern art in America, and thereafter to several other exhibitions.
    “Three White Tulips” represents the series at its simplest. The flowers are centered in the panel, their blossoms spread out in an elegant chevron that appears to fan out flat across the picture surface but also to twist slightly in space. The tabletop, outlined by a heavy black line that recedes diagonally into depth, is painted in the same opalescent hues and with the same patchy and slightly clumsy brush strokes as the background, vase, blossoms, and leaves-only the thick outline and the occasional use of white for highlights separate one form from another. The pictorial issues Sheeler evidently was exploring here were those preoccupying much of the international avant-garde during this period: the reconciliation of description and decoration, of flat and illusionistic space, and of the relative utility of local and ambient color in unifying and organizing a composition. His guide in this quest was Cézanne, whose special love for casual floral subjects, use of animated, seemingly unstudied brush strokes going off in all directions (particularly in the backgrounds of his pictures), and use of heavy outlines are here emulated, if not quite mastered.
    These pictures of tulips also point to Sheeler’s appreciation of similar motifs appearing on chests (see 32.274), ceramics (see 02.323), and birth and marriage certificates produced by Pennsylvania Germans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sheeler knew their designs well, for as early as 1910 he spent numerous weekends exploring rural Bucks and Lancaster counties (the heart of “Pennsylvania Dutch” country). A dower chest he once owned (Christian Seltzer, “Pennsylvania German Dower Chest,” 1781, Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University), features ornamental panels of symmetrically arranged, schematically drawn tulips (a favorite motif of the Pennsylvania Germans) arrayed much as Sheeler does in “Three White Tulips.” Splayed across the picture surface, they create a simple, charming arrangement. This unusual marriage of influences-the integration of revolutionary stylistic concerns and decorative patterns with roots in folk or primitive art-linked Sheeler with the most progressive artistic minds of his day. And although his technique is not fully mature here (he would soon substitute a smoother stroke and subtler color), “Three White Tulips” established a pattern for the rest of his work. Hereafter, his richest pictures would be those in which the traditional and the modern are harmoniously intertwined.

    This text was adapted by Janet Comey from Carol Troyen and Erica E. Hirshler, “Charles Sheeler: Paintings and Drawings” (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987).

    Inscription

    Lower left: Sheeler 1912

    Provenance

    The artist, with Downtown Gallery, New York; to Parke-Bernet, New York; to William H. Lane (1914-1995), 1953; to William H. Lane Foundation, 1953; to MFA, 1990, gift of the William H. Lane Foundation.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the William H. Lane Foundation

    Details

    Dimensions

    34.92 x 26.67 cm (13 3/4 x 10 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.442

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

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  • The Yellow Room

    about 1910
    Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874–1939)

    Description

    Like several of the American Impressionists, Michigan-born Frederick Carl Frieseke spent most of his life in France, sending his paintings home to the United States for exhibition and sale. He had first traveled to Paris in 1897, enrolling at the Académie Julian, long a popular program for aspiring American artists. Frieseke also studied with the renowned American expatriate painter James McNeill Whistler at his short-lived school, the Académie Carmen. Whistler’s passion for Japanese art, for decoration, and for distinctive color arrangements had a lasting influence on Frieseke’s work. Frieseke also admired the French Impressionist Claude Monet, particularly for his brilliant use of color and his interest in the effects of sunlight. From 1906 to 1919 Frieseke spent his summers in Giverny, the small village in Normandy that had been Monet’s home since 1883, joining the significant colony of American artists there.

    In The Yellow Room Frieseke fused bold color juxtapositions and careful formal design, bringing together the qualities he most admired in the work of Monet and Whistler. He posed his model in the living room of his own house in Giverny, which itself was one of his artistic creations. Frieseke had painted the walls lemon yellow and ornamented the room with blue rugs and curtains, a striking color combination that Monet had also employed in his home. Against this backdrop Frieseke posed a costumed model, arranged Japanese ceramics, and massed containers of fruit and flowers to create a panoply of color and pattern. The large Imari-style plate and the model’s kimono reflect the artist’s interest in Asian art, with its emphasis on two-dimensional design and ornament. The wealth and variety of patterns Frieseke employed, as well as the way in which the figure is not given precedence but instead merges into its surroundings, also recall paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Like those modern French artists, Frieseke created intimate domestic interiors that use bold decorative arrangements to explore the shifting relationship between paintings as representations of the real world and as independent abstract designs. These concerns would preoccupy many American artists throughout the twentieth century.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.C. Frieseke

    Provenance

    1913, with Macbeth Gallery, New York; 1914-15, Mrs. C. J. Blair; with Macbeth Gallery; 1917, possibly with Anderson Gallery, New York (as In the Sunlight); with Ferargil Galleries; 1919, sold by Ferargil Galleries to Macbeth Gallery; 1921, sold by Macbeth Gallery to John T. Spaulding, Boston; 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.28 x 80.96 cm (32 x 31 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.543

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

    Collections

    Americas

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  • Roses in a Glass Vase

    1890
    Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836–1904)

    Description

    Fantin was the late 19th-century’s undisputed master of the rose. Here a rough, scumbled background offsets the delicacy and fleshy softness of these overblown blossoms, so real we can almost smell their perfume. A devoted student of the old masters, Fantin spent many hours in his early career copying 17th-century Dutch still lifes at the Louvre, and yet his compositions remain unmistakably of their own time, almost photographic in their ambition to arrest a momentary sensation.

    Inscription

    signed lower right: Fantin 90

    Provenance

    Probably from the artist to Elizabeth Ruth (Mrs. Edwin) Edwards (b. about 1833 - d. 1907), London [see note 1]. 1906, Ferdinand Dreyfus (b. 1849 - d. 1915), Paris [see note 2]. César de Hauke (b. 1900 - d. 1965), Paris. Galerie Hector Brame, Paris. Desmond Robinson, London. 1965, with Frost and Reed, London [see note 3]. April 15, 1970, anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 3, to the Lefevre Gallery, London, for £27,000; 1970, sold by Lefevre to a private collector, Paris [see note 4]. July 1, 1974, anonymous sale, Christie's, London, lot 10, to Alice A. Hay (d. 1987), New York; 1987, bequest of Alice A. Hay to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 24, 1987) NOTES: [1] Information on provenance is taken from the 1970 Lefevre Gallery catalogue (see below, n. 4) and the 1974 Christie's auction catalogue. Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Edwards were friends of Fantin-Latour and acted as dealers for him in England. [2] He lent this painting to the "Exposition de l'Oeuvre de Fantin-Latour" (Paris, May-June, 1906), cat. no. 82. [3] According to a label affixed to the reverse of the painting. It was probably not a part of the gallery stock, but rather went to Frost and Reed for restoration or framing work. [4] According to correspondence from Jodie Waldron of the Lefevre Gallery (August 24, 2006). The painting was included in the exhibition "XIX & XX Century French Paintings" (Lefevre Gallery, London, November 12 - December 19, 1970), cat. no. 7. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: In 1947, a painting by Fantin-Latour of a "bouquet of roses in a glass" was listed among the objects that had been seized by the Nazis from the collection of Jean-Ferdinand Dreyfus of Paris during World War II and had not yet been returned. See Bureau Central des Restitutions, Répertoire des Biens Spoliés en France Durant la Guerre, 1939-1945, vol. 2, Tableaux, tapisseries, et sculptures (Berlin, 1947), p. 230, no. 5128: "Bouquet de roses dans un verre". It is possible, though not certain, that the MFA painting belonging to Ferdinand Dreyfus in 1906 was passed down to a relative named Jean-Ferdinand and that this is the work of art in question. However, the cultural property claim application of Jean-Ferdinand Dreyfus does not list any painting by Fantin. This claim is on file at the National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD, Record Group 260 (Microfilm Publication M1949, Roll 16), Claim no. F049B. There is no indication that the MFA painting passed through any of the collecting points established by Allied forces after World War II for the purpose restituting looted works of art. Jean Mendelson, Director of Archives, Ministère des Affaires Étrangères, Paris, stated in a letter (December 21, 2006) that the archive of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs possesses no documentation indicating that this painting was looted, and indeed, that the only such indication is the listing in the Répertoire des Biens Spoliés. Research is ongoing to determine whether the MFA painting was seized by Nazi forces during World War II and, if so, whether it was restituted to its rightful owner.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Alice A. Hay

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.54 x 37.78 cm (16 3/4 x 14 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1987.291

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

    Collections

    Europe

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  • The Tea Party

    about 1824
    Henry Sargent (American, 1770–1845 American)

    Description

    Entrepreneur and artist David Brown commissioned Henry Sargent to paint The Tea Party following his successful public display of Sargent’s The Dinner Party [19.13], hoping this second interior would prove equally popular. The Tea Party was first shown (together with the earlier dinner scene) in Boston around May 1824 and over the next decade Brown toured the pair of canvases repeatedly, bringing them to New York, Philadelphia, and Montreal.

    The casual deportment of mixed company in The Tea Party makes this composition an appropriate pendant to the more formal arrangement of The Dinner Party. Like The Dinner Party, The Tea Party may represent Sargent’s own home in the Tontine Crescent, a row of handsome Boston townhouses (no longer extant) designed and built by Charles Bulfinch in 1793–94. One contemporary critic noted: “The rooms and furniture [are] delightfully painted, and with the most minute fidelity.” [1] This is an upper-class interior, with two richly appointed parlors filled with fashionably attired figures. The women wear stylish Empire gowns in colors suitable for daytime; white garments were reserved for evening, as they were difficult to keep pristine. The furnishings reflect the latest styles recommended by such tastemakers as English designer Thomas Sheraton, who advised that the drawing room was to include the finest furniture and decorations in the house. [2] Sargent carefully delineated the French-styled Empire armchairs and a marble-topped center table toward the middle of the first parlor; the table may be one that descended in the Sargent family and is now in the collection of the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. Other imported and domestic goods are displayed around the two rooms, including an alabaster vase on a stand in the corner at the left, mirrors that help to reflect the warm artificial light in both spaces, and vases and urns on the mantelpiece. The walls of the room are lined with paintings—likely some landscapes, a subject that Americans were just beginning to collect.

    Both The Tea Party and The Dinner Party were reacquired by the artist from Brown before 1842, when Sargent displayed one of them in the first exhibition to be held at Chester Harding’s Boston gallery. The two paintings remained in the Sargent family after the artist’s death and were given to the MFA in 1919.

    Notes
    1. Editorial, Columbian Centinel, May 8, 1824, quoted in Jane C. Nylander, “Henry Sargent’s Dinner Party and Tea Party,” Magazine Antiques, May 1982, 1176.
    2. Nylander, “Henry Sargent’s Dinner Party and Tea Party,” 1180.

    Karen E. Quinn

    Provenance

    About 1824, commissioned by David L. Brown, Boston; before 1842, sold back to the artist (1770-1845); by descent to the artist's grandson, Winthrop Henry Sargent (1840-1916), Boston; by descent to his wife, Aimee Rotch Sargent (1852-1918), Boston; by descent to her sister, Annie Lawrence Rotch (Mrs. Horatio A.) Lamb (born 1857), Milton, Mass.; 1919, gift of Mrs. Horatio A. Lamb to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 6, 1919)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Horatio Appleton Lamb in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Sargent

    Details

    Dimensions

    163.51 x 133.03 cm (64 3/8 x 52 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.12

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Prudence S. and William M. Crozier, Jr. Gallery (Gallery 121)

    Collections

    Americas

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  • The Temple of Flora, or Garden of Nature, Being Picturesque Botanical Plates of the New Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus

    1799–1807
    Richard Earlom (English, 1743-1822), James Caldwall (English, 1739–1819), Joseph Constantine Stadler (English, (born Germany) active 1780–1822), Thomas Woolnoth (born 1785 English), William Ward, Sr. (English, 1766–1826 English), William Elmes (Active London, 1797–1814), Thomas Medland (English, active 1800–1807 English), Robert Dunkarton (English, 1744–about 1815 English), William Hopwood (English, active about 1800–1803 English), John Landseer (English, 1769?–1852), Thomas Burke (English, 1749–1815 English), Frederick Christian Lewis (English, 1779–1856 English), Thomas Sutherland (English, about 1785–about 1825 English), After Phillipp Reinagle (English, 1749–1833), After Abraham Pether (English, 1756–1812 English), After Sydenham Edwards (English, about 1768–1819), After Peter Charles Henderson (English,active 1799–1829), After Robert John Thornton (English (Ireland), 1768–1837), After John Russell (English, 1745–1806), After John Opie (English, 1761–1807 English), After Richard Cosway (English, 1742–1821), Calligrapher Thomas Tomkins (English, 1743–1816 English)

    Place of Publication: London, England

    Description

    London: For the Publisher [i.e., the author], 1799[-1807]

    Provenance

    Mrs. Sigmund J. Katz, by whom bequeathed to MFA, November 30, 1988.

    Credit Line

    Jessie and Sigmund Katz Collection

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Dunthorne 301; 1Nissen 1955;

    Dimensions

    Overall: 58 x 47 x 4 cm (22 13/16 x 18 1/2 x 1 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    1988.528

    Medium or Technique

    Illustrated book with 31 etchings, engravings, and aquatints, partially color-printed and hand-colored; and 6 calligraphic engravings

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Illustrated Books

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  • Divan Japonais

    1893
    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)

    Description

    Nineteenth-century guidebooks described Paris as “the capital of pleasure,” with its thousands of theaters, dance halls, cafés, circuses, racetracks, and other entertainments. Posters advertising these amusements were made possible by the development of color lithography, a process capable of producing large editions of high-quality prints. The clever, eye-catching posters of Toulouse-Lautrec—with their stylized shapes and flat areas of color—immortalized such places as the cabaret Divan Japonais. Here, seated in the audience are the popular dancer Jane Avril and the critic Edouard Dujardin. In the background, beyond the musicians, is the singer Yvette Guilbert, instantly recognizable although the artist does not show her face. A journalist described Guilbert: “She has no bosom to speak of and her chest is quite extraordinarily narrow. She has long—too long—thin arms clad in high black gloves that look like flimsy streamers.”

    Inscription

    On stone, l.r.: THLautrec/ Imp. Edw. Ancourt, Paris

    Provenance

    London Graphic Arts, Detroit; 1968, sold by London Graphic Arts to MFA. (Accession Date: November 13, 1968)

    Credit Line

    Lee M. Friedman Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Wittrock P11; Delteil 341;

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 81 x 62.3 cm (31 7/8 x 24 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    68.721

    Medium or Technique

    Poster, crayon, brush, spatter and transferred screen lithograph, printed from four stones in olive-green, red, yellow and black

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Posters

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  • Collection of the Chat Noir

    Collection du Chat Noir

    1898
    Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (French (born in Switzerland), 1859–1923)

    Description

    This poster advertises the sale of the collection of Rodolphe Salis, the owner of the Chat Noir, which opened in 1881 as the first cabaret in Paris. The artistic patrons of the Chat Noir and its irreverent performances of songs, plays, readings, and parades set the anything-goes tone for Montmartre. Its shadow theater, which combined colored lights, painted backgrounds, and sound effects with sophisticated cut-outs (emphasizing bold shapes and expressive silhouettes), was especially influential on the development of art in Toulouse-Lautrec’s circle.

    Provenance

    International Poster Gallery, MA; Purchased by MFA, March 20, 2002

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund and partial gift of James A. Lapides

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Bargiel and Zagrodzki 32

    Dimensions

    Framed: 155.3 x 117.2 x 4.8 cm (61 1/8 x 46 1/8 x 1 7/8 in.) Sheet: 139.4 x 99.1 cm (54 7/8 x 39 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.62

    Medium or Technique

    Poster, color lithograph printed in black and red

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Posters

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  • Plants and their Application to Ornament

    1897
    Eugène Samuel Grasset (French (born in Switzerland), 1841–1917), Maurice Pillard Verneuil (French, 1869–1942), Georges Bourgeot (French, born in 1876 French), Marcelle Gaudin (French, active in 1897 French), E. Hervegh (French, active in 1897 French), Marc Mangin (French, active in 1897 French), Anna Martin (French, active in 1897 French), J. Milesi (French, active in 1897 French), A. Poidevin (French, active in 1897 French), Camille Gabriel Schlumberger (French, born in 1864 French), Printer and Publisher Chapman & Hall, Ltd.

    Place of Publication: London, England

    Description

    London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd. [1897]

    Provenance

    Waltham Public Library (with discharge stamp); Angus Whyte, Boston, from whom acquired in 1976 by Arthur E. Vershbow; his daughter, Ann Vershbow and husband Charles Beitz, by whom given to MFA, December 29, 2004.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Ann Vershbow and Charles Beitz

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Harvard College Library, Turn of the Century, 49 (French edition)

    Dimensions

    Overall: 45.6 x 33.6 x 3.8 cm (17 15/16 x 13 1/4 x 1 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.2272

    Medium or Technique

    Illustrated book with 72 color lithographs

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Illustrated Books

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  • "La Cote d'Azur ou Une fête sur la terrasse," plate 6 from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 8–9

    French
    Summer 1915
    Louis Strimpl, Illustrating design by Georges Dœuillet (French (1865-1929)), Illustrating design by House of Beer (French French), Illustrating design by Madeleine Chéruit (French, died 1935), Illustrating design by House of Callot Soeurs (French, founded 1895), Illustrating design by Mme. Jeanne Paquin (French, 1892–1956), Illustrating design by House of Worth (French, 1858-1956), Illustrating design by Jeanne Lanvin (French, 1867–1946), Illustrating design by Jacques Doucet (French, 1853–1929), Illustrating design by Martial & Armand (French, 1884-1960), Illustrating design by Jenny Sacerdote, known as Mme Jenny (French, 1868-1962), Illustrating design by House of Premet (French, 1911 - 1931), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    41. Robe de broché argenté. Redingote en tulle d’argent. Costume de Jenny. Souliers de Généra.
    42. Redingote de broché blanc posée sur un fourreau de dentelle fine sur fond de satin blanc. Costume de Callot.
    43. Crêpe satin et tulle noir brodés de perles de jais. Deux étages de fils de jais. Costume de Dœuillet.
    44. Satin rose nacré dit “Libellule.” La jupe est comme repliée sur elle-même et pincée de place en place par des points de jais.
    45. Robe de gros de Londres garnie de volants froncés. Costume de Beer. Souilers de Greco.
    46. Sur un fourreau de satin rose, est posée une tunique en tulle brodé de perles vertes et blanches, un long voile de tulle pert forme paniers reliéssur le devant. Costume de Callot.
    47. Robe de mousseline de soie rose, tunique en tulle brodé d’or, écharpe de broché or et roses roses sur fond noir. Costume de Chéruit.
    48. Robe de tulle bleu marine sur crêpe satin bleu avec volant plisée remontant sur les côtés, ceinture de pierreries. Costume de Dœuillet.
    49. Jupe ample en tulle blanc, rayé de bandes de perles d cristal en tubes; ceinture de velours blanc bordée de zibeline. Costume et coiffure de Lanvin. Bottes de Carbini.
    50. Louis XV de taffetas rose “rose,” un galon or el argent borde les basques et le bas de la jupe glands d’or. Costume de Jenny. Souliers de Généra.
    51. Robe de faille rose de trois tons différents, ceinture en satin “framboise.” Costume de Paquin.
    52. Fourreau de liberty bleu rebrode de soie et d’or, traîne en pointe doublée de rose de Chine. Jupe de tulle uni recouverant le tout. Costume de Doucet.
    53. Robe de tulle rose et recouverte en partie de tulle bleu paon, brodée de fleurs d’argent et de paillettes bleues. Costume de Paquin.
    54. Robe de satin blanc avec tunique de mousseline, ceinture brodée de perles. Costume de Premet. Coiffure de Maria Guy.
    55. Satin noir gras, broche à même le tissu de dessins japonais magnifiques copiés sur des broderies anciennes. Les devants s’ouvrent sur une jupe faite d’effilés d’ifs de perles fines. Corselet de perles et de strass. Costume et coiffure de Worth. Souliers de Helstern.
    56. Tulle rose brodé d’or avec traîne en brocart d’or sur rose. Deux galons d’argent surmontés d’un galon de strass croisent sur la taille. Manteau en broché lophophore sur fond noir, bordure de zibeline.
    57. Peau de soie brodée et brochée rose très pâle, volants de dentelle fine à mi-jupe seulement et corsage à Berthe de même dentelle. Costume de Martial et Armand. Souliers de Ducerf.
    58. Deux volants d’application blanche sont disposés sur une jupe de satin perlée de strass. Sote de boléro de jais. Costume de Martial et Armand. Souliers de Ducerf.
    59. Robe de satin blanc pailletée avec seconde jupe de tulle bleu pailleté également et bordé d’hermine. La manche est remplacée par des ailes de tulle bleu. Costume de Premet. Chapeau de Maria Guy.
    60. Dentelle d’or sur mousseline de soie avec double effet d’ailes dégradées orange et bleu. Bretelle de velours bleu et riche broderie sur toute la robe. Costume de Callot.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.1 x 56.8 cm (9 7/8 x 22 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.25.6

    Medium or Technique

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • Tinseled Flowers

    1917
    Marsden Hartley (American, 1877–1943)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; collection of Alfred Stieglitz; with Weyhe Gallery, New York; to William H. Lane (1914-1995), 1955; to William H. Lane Foundation, 1957; to MFA, 1990, gift of the William H. Lane Foundation.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the William H. Lane Foundation

    Copyright

    Marsden Hartley materials are reproduced with the permission of the Yale University Committee on Literary Property

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.86 x 23.49 cm (16 7/8 x 9 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.413

    Medium or Technique

    Tempera, silver foil and gold foil on glass

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Mixed media

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  • Butterflies

    about 1914
    Edna Boies Hopkins (American, 1872–1937 American)

    Description

    Signed

    l.r. (in graphite), "Edna Bois Hopkins 23"

    Markings

    l.l. (in graphite), "23"

    Provenance

    John T. Spaulding (1870-1948) Boston; by whom given to MFA by bequest June 3, 1948

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Vasseur 26

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 38.9 x 32.8 cm (15 5/16 x 12 15/16 in.) Block: 25.7 x 23.2 cm (10 1/8 x 9 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.898

    Medium or Technique

    Color woodcut

    Out on Loan

    On display at Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, June 28, 2014 – September 15, 2014

    Collections

    Americas, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints

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  • Textile sample

    Japanese
    Meiji era
    late 19th century

    Object Place: Japan

    Description

    Textile sample with design of maple branch red, orange, brown, gray and green on a dark brown ground, created by the yûzen technique.

    Provenance

    Gift to MFA in August, 1898

    Credit Line

    William Sturgis Bigelow Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    26.7 x 35.0 cm (10 1/2 x 13 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.346

    Medium or Technique

    Silk plain-weave, hand drawn paste resist-dyed and painted (yûzen)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Textiles and Fashion Arts

    Classifications

    Textiles

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  • Woman and Flowers

    1868
    Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch (active in England), 1836–1912)

    Description

    In many paintings, Alma-Tadema infused the stylistic elements of northern European scenes of daily life with the contemporary Victorian interest in classical antiquity (the artist kept 168 volumes of photographs of Greek and Roman antiquities). Here, Alma-Tadema depicted a woman in classical dress leaning on a Pompeian bronze table, the model for which is now in the archaeological museum in Naples. The artist’s detailed treatment of flowers, jewelry, and textiles helps to create a sensuous and highly exotic mood.

    Inscription

    Center left, on table edge: L. ALMA-TADEMA 1868

    Provenance

    By 1872, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott Fitz) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1941, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 13, 1941) NOTES: [1] He first lent the painting to the Boston Athenaeum in 1872 ("The Roman Lady," cat. no. 158).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 37.2 cm (19 5/8 x 14 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.117

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Musical Instruments Alcove (Gallery 103C)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Doylestown House - The Stove

    1916–17
    Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)

    Description

    Beginning about 1910, Charles Sheeler rented a small eighteenth-century fieldstone house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as a weekend retreat. The simple house’s unadorned whitewashed walls, cast-iron stove, and narrow wooden staircase appealed to the aspiring modernist, and the images he made of it constitute his first series of “artistic” photographs. In this example, the dark silhouette of the stove is lit from behind and set off against the stark rectilinear forms of a window and door, resulting in a surprisingly avant-garde image of an American vernacular subject. One critic, writing about these Doylestown pictures, saw the influence of Cubism in their stark compositions and sharply focused forms, claiming that Sheeler’s camera had “registered certain effects and qualities hitherto seen only in the works of Pablo Picasso and his ablest followers.”

    Provenance

    Purchased by William H. and Saundra B. Lane from Musya Sheeler, wife of Charles Sheeler, at the time of her husband's death in 1965; gift to the MFA from Saundra B. Lane, December 27, 2002.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Saundra B. Lane in memory of William H. Lane

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 23.8 x 17.1 cm (9 3/8 x 6 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.886

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, gelatin silver print

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • San Juan Jazz Workshop

    1964
    Lorenzo Homar (American (Puerto Rican) 1913–2004)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; received as gift Sept. 15, 1999

    Credit Line

    Gift of Lorenzo Homar

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 74.7 x 48 cm (29 7/16 x 18 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1999.310

    Medium or Technique

    Color silkscreen

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Prints, Posters

    More Info

Contents