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Inscription

lower right: E. Johnson 1869

Provenance

Eliza Maria and James Brown, New York; given December 1870 to their grandson, James Clifton Brown [d. 1917] and his wife, Amelia Brown, Faygate, England; their son, Howard Clifton Brown [d. 1946], Faygate, England; his daughter, Elizabeth Clifton Brown Calvert, Faygate, England; her sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Ion Garnett-Orme, Cheriton, England, by about 1950;[1] (Peter H. Davidson & Co., New York), by 1978; purchased 15 November 1978 by NGA.

Exhibition History
1980
La Pintura de Los Estados Unidos de Museos de la Ciudad de Washington, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 1980-1981, no. 23, color repro.
1988
Bilder aus der Neuen Welt: Amerikanische Malerei des 18. un 19. Jahrhundts, Orangerie des Schlosses Charlottenburg, Berlin; Kunsthaus, Zurich, 1988-1989, no. 55.
Bibliography
1968
Kouwenhoven, John A. Partners in Banking: An Historical Portrait of a Great Private Bank, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., 1818-1968. Garden City, New York, 1968: 151.
1979
Gustafson, Eleanor H. "Museum accessions." Antiques 116 (December 1979): 1286, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 183, repro.
1980
La Pintura de Los Estados Unidos de Museos de la Cuidad de Washington, Exh. cat. Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, 1980: 86.
1980
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 12, 15, 72, no. 17, color repro.
1981
Southgate, M. Therese. "The Cover: Eastman Johnson, The Brown Family." Journal of the American Medical Association 245 (23-30 January 1981): cover, 349, color repro.
1981
Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 150-151, color repro. 156.
1983
Brown, Milton W. One Hundred Masterpieces of American Painting from Public Collections in Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C., 1983: 90, color repro. 91.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 557, no. 847, color repro.
1985
Lubin, David M. Act of Portrayal: Eakins, Sargent, James. New Haven, 1985: 117, repro. 118.
1988
Bilder aus der Neuen Welt: Amerikanische Malerei des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. Exh. cat. Orangerie des Schlosses Charlottenburg, Berlin; Kunsthaus, Zurich. Berlin, 1988: no. 55.
1988
Clark, Henry Nichols Blake. Francis W. Edmonds: American Master in the Dutch Tradition. Exh. cat. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; New-York Historical Society. Washington, D.C., 1988: 104, repro. 105.
1988
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 18, 82, no. 18, color repro.
1989
Simpson, Marc, Sally Mills, and Jennfier Saville. The American Canvas: Paintings from the Collection of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. New York, 1989: 112.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 213, repro.
1994
Simpson, Marc, with the assistance of Patricia Junker. The Rockefeller Collection of American Art. Exh. cat. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1994: 177.
1996
Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 376-382, color repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a single sheet of paper. A second, narrow band of paper (4 cm wide) added at the top edge was probably part of the artist's original intention. Both pieces have been lined to fabric. An extremely thin, cream-colored priming layer covers the paper and is occasionally visible in the background. Extensive underdrawing, probably pencil but with a few lines in a liquid medium, is also visible throughout, including perspective lines for the carpet and fireplace and details such as the strapwork on the walls. Infrared reflectography and x-radiography indicate slight adjustments to the figures of the man and child. Paint was generally applied thinly, with a greater degree of finish to the figures than the background. With the exception of the fireplace flames and the occasional highlights on metal surfaces, there is little impasto. In 1978, prior to acquisition, discolored varnish was removed and the painting was restored. Several small paint losses, particularly on and around the figure of the man, have been inpainted. The varnish has not discolored.