The Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop
Observing a blacksmith in his shop was an exciting experience for children in the 19th century. In this painting, he is the object of fascination for those who gather to watch him practice his craft and a picture of individuality, self-reliance, compassion, and skill. Although most successful during the 19th century as a portrait painter, Eastman Johnson is best remembered today for his remarkable genre scenes. Johnson began his career in 1842 as a portraitist in crayon, and worked in Augusta, Washington, D.C., and Boston. While in Boston, Johnson became known to the local literati and made portraits of Longfellow, Emerson, and Hawthorne. Emerson in particular urged the young artist to depict American themes-African Americans, Native Americans, politics, and the frontier-and in 1849, Johnson left to acquire greater technical proficiency in Germany. After working in The Hague and Paris, Johnson returned to Washington D.C. in 1855. Following a year on the Minnesota frontier, he settled in New York City and began his career as a genre painter.
Physical dimensions: 
height 20.25 in ; width 24.25 in