Interior with Portraits
|Interior with Portraits|
|Artist||Thomas Le Clear|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Location||Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC|
The painting features two children, James and Parnell Sidway, posing for a photograph in an artist's studio. The painting was commissioned by the subjects' older brother, Franklin Sidway. Parnell died of illness as an adolescent; James, a volunteer firefighter, died in a hotel fire at the age of 26, shortly before the painting was commissioned.
Both children were painted posthumously from family daguerreotypes. Some painters of the time regarded photography with suspicion, and refused to use photographs as references for portraits. The painting is filled with references to this tension. The children are surrounded by painted portraits, and the photographer's back is to the viewer with his face obscured. The girl appears to be supporting the boy and holding him still, as might have been necessary when posing a child for an early photograph due to the long exposure time. A dog is depicted just entering the studio, another acknowledgement of early photography's limitation to still subjects.
Smithsonian Museum of American Art
- Mike Vogel (July 13, 1997). "WNY painting joins elite class". The Buffallo News.
- Elizabeth Broun. "Director's Choice: "Interior with Portraits"". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Pastan, Amy (2000). Young America: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 68.
- "Interior with Portraits by Thomas Le Clear". americanart.si.edu. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 24 February 2016.