Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns
Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns
Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns

Catching a Monarch by Junius Stearns

  • This charming genre scene was composed by the American painter Junius Stearns
  • The work captures a young boy at play as he attempts to catch a monarch butterfly
  • Thoughtfully composed with a delightful narrative, it is exemplary of Stearns' genre scenes
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Item No. 30-8862
$78,500
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Junius Stearns
1810-1885 | American

Catching a Monarch

Oil on canvas

This charming oil on canvas was composed by the highly popular American artist Junius Stearns. Appealing in both its subject matter and its execution, the work, entitled Catching a Monarch, is a celebration of the joy of childhood. Stearns adeptly captures his young subject at play, using his hat as a butterfly net to catch a resting monarch. Stearns is celebrated for his compelling genre scenes such as this, rendered with an exceptional attention to detail and aptitude for narrative.

Born in Vermont in 1810, Junius Stearns was originally named Lucius Sawyer; he later changed his name after a falling out with his father, who did not support his artistic aspirations. He enrolled at the National Academy of Design in 1838, coming to public attention thanks to his submission The Millenium, which caused a public sensation. By 1840, he was fully embraced by the New York art scene. He gained further status thanks to a series of history paintings based on the life of George Washington. Capturing the first president from his wedding day to the battlefield, these works remain the most significant of his career.

He was elected an associate member of the National Academy of Design in 1848, and was made an honorary member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1854. By the late 1850s, Stearns turned away from history painting in favor of genre scenes such as the present piece. Today, his works can be found in collections such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the New York Historical Society.

Circa 1860

Canvas: 20" high x 25 1/2" wide
Frame: 22 3/4" high x 28 1/2" wide
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:America
Subject:Genre
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