Wednesday, June 17, 2020

John Sharman's "At the End of the Porch"

John Sharman, At the End of the Porch, about 1918, 
oil on canvas, 36 x 34-1/4 in., Indiana Museum of Art

John Sharman (1879-1971) was an American artist who studied with Frank Benson and Edmund Tarbell at Boston’s Museum School. There he honed his ability to capture effects of light. A writer for the Boston Transcript describes this painting as a:
“a beautiful, luminous and joyous picture of a place where one would like to be. It represents a glassed-in porch, in the summer, and a lady sitting at her work; through the windows may be seen masses of shrubbery and white blossoms. An admirable canvas, it has the quality of reserve, but that does not prevent it from conveying with singular aptitude a most artistic impression of a lovely scene.


Sam Bleckley said...

"Glassed in" seems odd to me. That looks like a trellis in the sunlight, not muntins -- they don't span the whole width. There are railings, like you might expect on an open porch. And, smoking gun (hur hur), there's a brazier on the floor next to her. Not recommended for an enclosed sunroom!

I guess one unimportant word is a silly thing to be up-in-arms about, but what's the point of an art critic if not to look closely and carefully before reporting what they see?

Susan Krzywicki said...

The red of the sweater or scarf. Beautiful. It glows.

Jim Douglas said...

The Boston Transcript writer was wrong about the "glassed-in porch." He or she confused the trellis for muntin bars in a large window. Note that the trellis is attached at the top and bottom and does not extend to the porch column or the house wall. This is no minor point, since I don't think Sharman would have been as interested in this setting if nature was kept at bay by glazing. There would also be reflections and refracted light to contend with. Jim, you've painted countless scenes looking through shop windows. You could speak volumes of the difference glazing makes.

James Gurney said...

Jim and Doug, thanks, you're right.

Carl Wendt said...

I’ve seen this piece in person and there is no indication that there is glass by observing the work. Trellis for sure. Beautiful depiction of light.