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Mrs. Horatio Nelson Slater and Children (Primary Title)
Training in Paris exposed Tarbell to the ideas and technique of impressionism, which the artist adapted and increasingly distilled over the course of his career as his outdoor scenes were replaced with domestic subjects. This painting captures the Slater family in a grand interior. The Renaissance Revival contents would have appealed to Mrs. Slater’s uncle, Richard Howland Hunt, whose architectural career defined the imposing facades of the Gilded Age. The execution is equally bold; wide swaths of color are applied with spontaneous bravura. Yet the palette is subdued, recalling the tones of academic realism. The overall effect suggests a grand manner ideal popularized by John Singer Sargent. This mature style aligned Tarbell with a distinct regional fusion known as the Boston school.
At lower right: Edmund C. Tarbell / 1901
The James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection
"American Art from the McGlothlin Collection" Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1 May - 18 July 2010).
Rawles, Susan J. and Christopher C. Oliver. The James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection of American Art, A Promise Fulfilled (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2015): pp. 74-75.
Yount, Sylvia. Private Passion, Public Promise, The James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Collection of American Art (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2010): ill. pp. 58, 82.
Buckley, Laurene. Edmund C. Tarbell: Poet of Domesticity (Manchester, VT: Hudson Hills Press, 2001): p. 98.
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.
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