Sam Francis / Untitled (Black Clouds) / 1952Sam Francis
Untitled (Black Clouds)

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Creator Name: Francis, Sam
Creator Dates/Places: American, 1923 - 1994
Creator Name-CRT: Sam Francis
Title: Untitled (Black Clouds)
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1952
Creation End Date: 1952
Creation Date: 1952
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 77 1/2 x 59 1/2 in. (196.85 x 151.13 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1985.98
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Algur H. Meadows and the Meadows Foundation, Incorporated, by exchange
Copyright: ? Estate of Sam Francis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Context: Among Pierre Bonnard's greatest supporters were his sister and brother-in-law, Claude and Andrée Terrasse, whom he painted throughout his life and to whom he entrusted his estate. Perhaps because the painter and his common-law wife, Marthe, remained childless, they became surrogate parents to the Terrasse children. Most of the many children in Bonnard's paintings are his nieces and nephews. Often, as in the Reves painting, the children inhabit the rooms and gardens of the family properties, their bodies and faces merging with the textures of their environment. Here, Bonnard finds Charles (left) and Jean (right) as they read at night, probably after dinner and before bed. Our viewpoint is that of an adult looking down on them, but they seem utterly oblivious to our presence. The elder, Jean, has looked up from a thick book and seems to be listening to his younger brother as he reads from a children's book. The dialogue of the two young boys has a counterpart in the "dialogue" of two lamps on the ample table. With its omniscient painter/observer and its immersion into a private space, the painting is quintessentially intimate.Reading as a subject in Western art has a long and complex history, which was enlivened considerably by vanguard French artists such as Manet and Degas. But no French artist since Chardin was as fascinated with the education of the young as Bonnard proved himself to be in this wonderfully subtle canvas.When Emery Reves first acquired the painting in the mid-1950s, he wrote to Charles Terrasse, who then controlled the Bonnard estate. Terrasse identified both figures and told Reves that it was painted on a summer weekend in 1899 in the family's country house in Grand-Temps in the Dauphiné."Impressionist Paintings Drawings and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 129
AMICA ID: DMA_.1985.98
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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