Printed on gummed label on frame, on reverse: RUDOLPH RUZICKA, P.O. BOX 376, HANOVER, N.H.
During the 1870s, a period of national healing following the Civil War, Winslow Homer celebrated the pleasures and innocence of childhood through innumerable images of barefoot country boys at play. Set in a sun-filled meadow, this painting features two idling boys lying before a seated girl, who is the object of their rapt attention and seeming admiration. In a lighthearted manner, Homer thus touches on the theme of rural courtship, which figured prominently in his images of adult interactions during the same period.
As he often did in the early 1870s, Homer explored the imagery of this composition in a cluster of closely related works in various media. This appears to be an abandoned preliminary version of his 1874 painting entitled Enchanted (private collection); it also relates to a drawing, a wood engraving for Harper’s Weekly, and another, more tightly cropped painting, Boys in a Pasture (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), which features just the two boys.
From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art
HIST 27, WGST 23, Gender and Power in American History from the Colonial Period to the Civil War, Leslie Butler, Spring 2012
ITAL 1, Introductory Italian I, Scott Millspaugh, Spring 2014
American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Jaffe Hall Galleries, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 9-December 9, 2007.
American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-September 12, 2021.
Focus On: Winslow Homer, The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, October 9-December 5, 1999.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, February 28, 2000-May 8, 2007.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 12, 2012 to present.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 2, 2009-December 1, 2010.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 20, 1998-September 1, 1999.
Barbara J. MacAdam, American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Muesum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 58, no. 37.
Studio of the artist until about 1917; Charles Savage Homer, Jr., the artist's brother, who acquired the estate; Dr. and Mrs.(Maria H.B.) William S. Dennett, New York, by gift from their friend Charles Homer; Susan P. Hubbard, by bequest from her cousin, Maria H.B. Dennett, 1942; Rudolph Ruzicka (1883-1978) from Susan P. Hubbard, May 1943; Tatiana Ruzicka (1915-1995) by bequest from her father 1978; Edward Connery Lathem by bequest from Tatiana Ruzicka in 1995 to distribute to the museum of this choice; presented by Mr. Lathem to the Hood Museum of Art as a promised gift, August, 1997; given to present collection, 2007.
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