Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Daughters of Edward Dailey Boit
Painted by John Singer Sargent in the early 1880s and first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1883, The Daughters of Edward Dailey Boit never failed to elicit criticism and praise.
In Erica E. Hirshler's examination of the history of the painting in her work, Sargent's Daughters: The Biography of a Painting, she explores and disseminates the art world of the late nineteenth century, but she also looks at the biographical information of the lives of the four young girls who were the subjects of the painting as well as that of their parents.
With twenty-five pages of notes from the unpublished archival papers used to document her study of the painting and its subjects, Hirshler's affinity for detail and fact only support the lasting impact that this work of art had on the genre of the time as well as how "the buzz" of the portrait affected the Boit family.
This is not a page turner; in fact, Hirshler's writing is quite dry. [no pun intended]
I stayed with it because, well, I am nosy enough to want to know why Sargent posed them in such an unusual way, and I wished to know what happened to those four girls.
I got half of what I wanted. :)