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Artist's Wife and Son

M. Therese Southgate, MD
JAMA. 2008;299(17):1993. doi:10.1001/jama.299.17.1993.
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At top center, on a small wooden table, an ivy wreath in a terra cotta pot; at top left, on the lid of an ebony grand piano, a blue ceramic bowl of white narcissus; in front of the piano, a massive reddish-pink upholstered sofa, mostly obscured (except for a heart-shaped silhouette) by a frothy blue comforter and a lace-edged pillow; opposite the sofa, a rigid, straight-back, red armchair, brocaded in a gold-rimmed bull’s-eye pattern. Competing for center space on the crowded canvas is an auburn-haired, feverish-cheeked boy of about seven years of age. He stands ramrod straight, eyes forward like a good soldier. To his left, occupying slightly more of the center canvas, is an auburn-haired, pert-nosed woman in a boldly patterned, zebra-striped day costume. Her arms encircle the boy, her head inclines toward his, her mouth is at his ear. Perhaps she is arranging his shirtwaist, crumpled after a nap on the sofa; perhaps she is remonstrating with him, whispering “Stand up straight” into his ear.

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William J. Glackens (1870-1938), Artist's Wife and Son, 1911, American. Oil on canvas. 121.9 × 91.4 cm. Courtesy of the Snite Museum of Art (http://www.nd.edu/˜sniteart/), Notre Dame, Indiana; gift of the Sansom Foundation, 1995.045.



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