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  • This interior, featuring decorative niches inspired by subterranean Roman sepulchres and “klismos” chairs copied from Greek pottery, is a reminder of the somber mood of the particular moment of highly stylized Neoclassical taste in England. The stark setting is appropriate because this portrait represents the artist Adam Buck, his wife, and two of their sons in the presence of a herm (or bust on a plain shaft), which probably depicts a deceased member of the family. Ian Jenkins has traced a convincing narrative of mourning and rebirth in the iconography of the Greek vases on display, in keeping with the melancholy inclusion of the herm. The loving interaction between mother and baby, as well as the rambunctious antics of the elder child (who playfully dips a cat into an ancient vase), however, are strategies of representation familiar from Buck’s sentimental genre scenes. Melding the somber and the joyful, Buck succeeded in creating a picture that is a celebration of the continuation of family, as well as a memorial to a member lost along the way.
?:PX_curatorial_comment
  • This interior, featuring decorative niches inspired by subterranean Roman sepulchres and “klismos” chairs copied from Greek pottery, is a reminder of the somber mood of the particular moment of highly stylized Neoclassical taste in England. The stark setting is appropriate because this portrait represents the artist Adam Buck, his wife, and two of their sons in the presence of a herm (or bust on a plain shaft), which probably depicts a deceased member of the family. Ian Jenkins has traced a convincing narrative of mourning and rebirth in the iconography of the Greek vases on display, in keeping with the melancholy inclusion of the herm. The loving interaction between mother and baby, as well as the rambunctious antics of the elder child (who playfully dips a cat into an ancient vase), however, are strategies of representation familiar from Buck’s sentimental genre scenes. Melding the somber and the joyful, Buck succeeded in creating a picture that is a celebration of the continuation of family, as well as a memorial to a member lost along the way.
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  • Bibliograpic reference ::
  • Bibliograpic reference :: A Regency Buck : Adam Buck (1759-1833) : an appreciation, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2015, p. 75-76,78, 164, fig. 118, NJ18.B8675735 A12 D37 2015 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ireland : crossroads of art and design, 1690-1840, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2015, pp. 57-58, 60, 165, 236, no. 21, fig, 30 (p. 60), N6787 .I74 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 277, no. 77, pl. 77, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Lowell Libson Ltd : British Art : 2016, Lowell Libson Ltd., 2016, p. 56, Dealer Cat Lowell Libson 2016 (YCBA)
  • Dimension height :: 44.6cm
  • Dimension width :: 42.4cm
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Classical Taste in America 1800 - 1840
  • Exhibition :: English Portrait Drawings & Miniatures
  • Exhibition :: Ireland - Art on a World Stage 1690-1840
  • Exhibition :: Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art
  • Exhibition :: Works of Splendor and Imagination - The Exhibition Watercolor 1770-1870
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 222, C 1, B-4
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Object type :: watercolor
  • Subject Concept :: portrait
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  • ...
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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?:label
  • The Artist and his Family
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