Daisy by Eastman Johnson
Daisy by Eastman Johnson Daisy by Eastman Johnson Daisy by Eastman Johnson Daisy by Eastman Johnson
Daisy by Eastman Johnson

Daisy by Eastman Johnson

  • Eastman Johnson was a leading American figure painter of the mid-19th century
  • This portrait is an exceptional example of his dramatic and romantic style
  • It captures Marguerite "Daisy" Leiter, the daughter of the cofounder of the Marshall Field's
  • Such idyllic works made him one of the most sought after portraitists of his age
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Item No. 30-9121
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Eastman Johnson
1824-1906 | American

Marguerite "Daisy" Leiter, Aged 5 Years

Signed and dated "E. Johnson 1884" (lower left)
Oil on canvas

Eastman Johnson is regarded among the leading figure painters of the mid-19th century, and his portraits have come to embody the distinctly American style that emerged in the years following the Civil War. Often referred to as the "American Rembrandt," his works are heavily inspired by the Old Masters, incorporating dramatic lighting and careful brushwork that is reminiscent of Rembrandt's greatest works. This portrait of Marguerite "Daisy" Leiter is an exceptional example not only of Eastman's impactful use of light, but also the quiet dignity of his subjects. Such romantic, idyllic compositions made him one of the most sought after portraitists of his age.

While much of his later work focuses on genre scenes of New England farmers and children at play, his earlier portraits gave him the financial freedom to pursue his artistic legacy. The present work is a charming mix of the two - not only does it capture his subject, Daisy, at the young age of five, but it also represents his affluent patronage. Daisy was the daughter of Levi Z. Leiter, the cofounder of the Marshall Field's chain of department stores. She would later go on to marry Henry Howard, the 19th Earl of Suffolk, becoming the Countess of Suffolk and Berkshire. Fourteen years after this portrait was painted, Daisy was captured on canvas by the great John Singer Sargent, and together these two works represent an appealing narrative of a girl's transition into adulthood.

Born in Maine in 1824, Eastman Johnson began his artistic training in 1840 when he became an apprentice in Bufford's Lithography Shop in Boston. Finding the work unchallenging, he eventually return to Maine and later Washington D.C., where he developed a reputation as a portraitist. He travelled to Germany in 1848, enrolling in Düsseldorf Academy and immersing himself in the study of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting. These works would have a distinctive impact on his style throughout his career.

Dated 1884

Canvas: 50 1/4" high x 33 1/4" wide
Frame: 64 1/2" high x 47 1/8" wide
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:America
Subject:Children
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