Essay on A Tale of Two Paintings

Submitted By 17FiXxXeR75
Words: 556
Pages: 3

A Tale of Two Paintings This assignment is given to have the student evaluate and express their interpretation of two paintings from the 1800’s. I will explain what caught my eye first and what each painting says about the families of that time period.
In completing this writing assignment, we are tasked with viewing two paintings. Both paintings shared two characteristics which were immediately obvious to me: 1 – both families were together, and; 2 – both families were indoors in the same room. It’s entirely possible those caught my eye because they’re a sharp contrast to what exists in modern day America. Where families live in multi-room residences with their own lives and electronic distractions, it’s a rare occurrence throughout the day that the entire family is together. As for being indoors, perhaps it’s a bit of artistic expression to use a room as a backdrop for a family portrait, it may be simpler than painting an outdoor setting due to weather or artist skill, or it may be just what the family desired when the piece was commissioned. Regardless, it gives us a glimpse into what appears to be a middle-class family in The Sargent Family and an upper-class family in The Family at Home.
In The Sargent Family, we see a man and woman with four children. The woman is on the right side of the portrait sitting in a chair holding an infant with a toddler standing next to her. At the far left side stands a man complete in a coat and his hat while two older children and a dog separate him from the woman. The room has one door and one window with two birdcages with a bird in each, flanking the window. Green wallpaper meets wainscoting which meets a checkerboard-patterned floor. I’m not familiar with period clothing, but the man does not seem to be dressed as a farmer, nor does he bear the physique of a manual laborer or tradesman.
In The Family at Home, we have a man seated near the center of the painting, with his back to a…