Search in collections
Davis's clientele included military officers, farmers, lawyers, schoolmasters and clergymen. In this group portrait of a handsome couple and their two children, Davis placed many refinements of a middle-class society on the tables, including a top hat, two books, a vase of flowers, a quill pen with inkstand and writing paper. Although he sought to record true likenesses, the portraits themselves do not seem to convey the sense of character found in the work of more skilled artists. Husband and wife are stiffly posed, as they gaze unblinkingly into each other's eyes, while their dutifully silent children gather by them. Just as Davis included symbols of a family's role in society, he seems to have made the subjects themselves symbols of refined New Englanders. From Paul S. D'Ambrosio and Charlotte M. Emans, "Folk Art's Many Faces: Portraits in the New York State Historical Association," Cooperstown: NYSHA, 1987, pp. 62-63.
height 11.75 in ; width 17.75 in