Five Boys on a Wall
Eastman Johnson ( American, 1824 - 1906 )
- c. 1875–1880
Although small in scale, this quiet scene packs a visual punch as Eastman Johnson explores the intense effect of broad sunlight on his youthful sitters. These experiments in rendering outdoor light had increasingly occupied Johnson during his annual summers on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. One of the most internationally minded of mid-19th-century American painters, the Boston-born Johnson studied at the Dresden Academy in Germany, in The Hague, Netherlands, and in Paris. Returning to the United States after 1855, "the American Rembrandt"-as Johnson was called-enjoyed popular success for images of everyday life such as this one.