Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
3 More
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)

BOY IN GREEN WITH HAMMER AND NAILS

Details
WILLIAM MATTHEW PRIOR (1806-1873)
BOY IN GREEN WITH HAMMER AND NAILS
oil on card affixed to board
16 x 12 in.
Provenance
Chris Huntington, Mount Vernon, Maine
Morrill's Auction, Inc., Harrison, ME, 20-21 June 1974, lot 258
Skinner, Inc., Boston, 2 January 1981, lot 171
Literature
Peter Goodman, Notebook, no. 701.

Brought to you by

Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Head of Americana and Outsider Art

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

This charming boy in green exhibits William Matthew Prior's success in capturing the sweetness and innocence of childhood. Prior followed a successful format in which he included with his subjects an accessory or object that identified their gender or their individual interests. In the present lot the boy holds a hammer and nails. Girls were often depicted with flowers and jewelry (see lot 182). Prior was able to paint in both an academic painterly manner as well as a more abstract, flat style. This portrait, like most of his portraits of children, is executed in the latter style. Prior advertised “persons wishing for a flat picture can have a likeness without a shade or shadow at one-quarter price” which catered to patrons who wanted to spend less money or time. This approach helped Prior create a prolific body of work and suggested that Prior consciously choose to paint within a flat stylized manner. For Prior art was a business and he successfully created a formula to attract many types of customers. These flat likeness works were often oil on cardboard or canvas and of a smaller size. The face of the sitter fills the plane and they gaze directly at the viewer. For additional information see Jacquelyn Oak and Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw, Artist and Visionary: William Matthew Prior Revealed (Cooperstown, 2012).

More from The Collection of Peter and Barbara Goodman

View All
View All