In very nearly hiding one of the girl's faces and subjugating the characterization of individuals to more formal compositional considerations, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit is as much about the subject of childhood as it is an example of portraiture. When the painting was first exhibited, contemporary critics, including Henry James, wrote of Sargent's debt to Velázquez. The painting depicts four young girls, the daughters of Edward Darley Boit, in their family's Paris apartment. Part Two: Where and When Did Gargoyles Come From? The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit was painted in Paris in the autumn of 1882, one of a number of portraits of members of the American expatriate community that Sargent made in the French capital in the late 1870s and early 1880s. It was painted in 1882 and is now exhibited in the new Art of the Americas Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Learn how your comment data is processed. The brushwork of several passages has been seen as deriving from Frans Hals, and nearly contemporaneous works that have been cited for their similarities are Madame Georges Charpentier and Her Children by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and, especially for its psychological complexity, The Bellelli Family by Edgar Degas. Some of her watercolors are reproduced in Hirshler’s book, and they are lovely. Carolus-Duran, Sargent's teacher, had encouraged his students to study the work of Velázquez. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit was painted in Paris in the autumn of 1882, one of a number of portraits of members of the American expatriate community that Sargent made in the French capital in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Great spacing and light effect! ( Log Out /  The painting depicts four young girls, the daughters of Edward Darley Boit, in their family's Paris apartment. A Scholarly Skater logo by Tracy Pollock. The Family of Edward Darley Boit After the period of time covered in my novel (1882-84), hard times lay ahead for the Boit family, at least emotionally. The painting depicts four young girls, the daughters of Edward Darley Boit, in their family's Paris apartment. 1882, Edward Darley Boit (1840-1915) and his wife, Mary Louisa Cushing Boit (1845-1894), Paris and Boston; 1915, by descent to their daughters, the sitters, Mary Louisa Boit, Florence D. Boit, Jane Hubbard Boit, and Julia Overing Boit; 1919, gift of Mary Louisa Boit, Florence D. Boit, Jane Hubbard Boit, and Julia Overing Boit to the MFA. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Hirshler provides whatever exists. I’ve been reading John Singer Sargent scholar Erica Hirshler’s book Sargent’s Daughters: The Biography of a Painting. With The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, Sargent masterfully transcended portraiture, providing a continuously evocative meditation on openness and enigma, public and private, light and shadow. He regarded painting as an interpretation of expressions through color and brush. Unfortunately, not a lot of information is available about the lives of Florence, Jane, Marie Louisa, and Julia Boit, since any diaries or other writings they kept haven’t survived. The daughters of Edward Boit were Mary Louisa (1874-1945) Florence (1868-1919) Jane (1870-1955) and Julia (1878-1969). Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Isa died in 1894, and the four girls (Florence, Jane, Mary Louisa and Julia), with their father, continued their travels throughout Europe, Great Britain and the U.S. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (originally titled Portraits d'enfants) is a painting by John Singer Sargent. The subject, Edward Darley Boit, was an impressionist artist, himself, and Sargent and Boit were good friends. Photo via the-athenaeum.org (Public Domain). In fact, she’s so done with this whole situation, we only glimpse her profile. It has been described as "Arguably the most psychologically compelling painting of Sargent's career". Edward Boit was the son-in-law of John Perkins Cushing and a friend of Sargent's. ( Log Out /  I have always loved this painting and I think it is a fascinating painting. According to Hirshler, interpretations of the painting have changed quite dramatically over the years. The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit painting was one of Sargent's most exceptional works of art. At fourteen, Flo’s the eldest and most disgruntled Boit sister. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Though the painting originally gathered some criticism for its composition and lighting, the lack of relationship between the children wasn’t commented on. Set in what is thought to be the foyer of Boit's Paris apartment, its dark interior space is reminiscent of those Sargent had recently painted in Venice. This book is about John Singer Sargent’s The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, an unconventional 1882 portrait of Edward and Isa Boit’s four daughters. I’ll leave those details for you to discover when you actually read the book. The relationship between the works is considered so significant that the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston) loaned The Daughters to the Museo del Prado in 2010, so that the paintings could be exhibited together for the first time. The girls never married. The most distinctive sister, Florence pouts beside Jane. It’s always seemed obvious to me that Sargent was trying to say something about discord within the family, so I was surprised to learn that this isn’t necessarily the case. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Only later in the twentieth century, with the popularity of child psychology and such, have viewers started to read any kind of message into the work.