The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit

by Matthew Raley

"The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit," by John Singer Sargent, 1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
"The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit," by John Singer Sargent, 1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I was looking at a survey of John Singer Sargent’s work last night and was reminded of how compelling this painting is. This piece has it all: atmosphere, fascinating color, light effects, compositional interest, and psychological tension. I particularly love the informal placement of the girls, as if we’ve blundered into some game they were playing.

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One thought on “The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit

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  1. This is a fascinating painting. It has a palpable tension between the innocent and the disturbing. There’s something about the placement and posing of the girls that is not quite right. The longer you look at them the more they appear to be on slightly different planes of perspective, because of the way the flooring appears (this may be a result of the reproduction for the web). Also, for being very realistic, the painting gives off the air of the surreal with those ginormous vases, the darkness in the background and whatever that orange thing is. Great painting.

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