James Goodwyn Clonney (1812-1867)
James Goodwyn Clonney (1812-1867)

Boy Fishing

James Goodwyn Clonney (1812-1867)
Boy Fishing
signed and dated 'Clonney, 1845' (lower right)
oil on canvas
17 x 14 in. (43.2 x 35.6 cm.)
Painted in 1845.
Sale: American Art-Union, New York, 1845, lot 37.
F.G. Thurston, New York, acquired from the above.
Ellen S. Philips, Farmington, Connecticut, 1988, by descent.
Lagakos-Turak Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, acquired from the above.
Artists' Chambers, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1990.
M.B. Cowdrey, American Academy of Fine Arts and American Art-Union: Exhibition Record, 1816-1852, New York, 1953, p. 75, no. 37.
Richmond, Virginia, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, American Dreams: Paintings and Decorative Arts from the Warner Collection, September 20, 1997-January 25, 1998, p. 33, fig. 17, illustrated.

Brought to you by

William Haydock
William Haydock

Lot Essay

Elizabeth O'Leary writes, "The two lads in James Clonney's Boy Fishing...are living off the land. With his fishing pole resting across his knee, a black child returns the gaze of a white boy of similar age. Between them are the fruits of their individual labors--a string of porgies and a hat full of apples. While their mutual regard suggests a possible trade, the outcome is uncertain. Clonney, attuned to current public debate over the annexation of Texas and the possible extension of slavery in the Union, crafted an ambiguous image where compromise hangs in the balance." (American Dreams: Paintings and Decorative Arts from the Warner Collection, Richmond, Virginia, 1997, p. 33)

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