Artwork of the Week: December/January 2018/2019 (Week 52/Week 1)
The Family Group (After Sargent), c.1900, gouache, 22 15/16 x 16 15/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
This lovely gouache interior is mysterious. Previous generations of MOA staff have not discovered the artist’s identity despite the strong resemblance of her/his brushwork to some of the best late-19th-century painters on both sides of the Atlantic. The lofty parlor assures its inhabitants are affluent collectors of Gilded Age furniture, Asian carpets, and modernist paintings in gilded frames. The mirrored tree reveals that carols are being sung by three generations around the piano, but who is the slightly bowed elder? A grandfather, or a trusted servant who has given his whole life to this household? To the toddler in a Napoleonic chapeau, it’s all family.
Happy New Year from the BYU Museum of Art.