Friday, November 11, 2011

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire by Thomas Sully

My parents visit a lot of museums and they are always kind enough to take pictures of fairy tale related art when it is allowed. In October they visited the Dallas Museum of Art and saw this painting by Thomas Sully, "Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire." I found an article about the museum's acquistion of the painting which offers more information about the painting, too. This is the museum's image of the painting since I didn't have time to resize my father's photo.

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire
Paintings, Oil on canvas
Overall: 58 x 64 in. (147.32 cm x 1 m 62.56 cm)
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, 2005.1

Edited to add from the acquisition article:

Cinderella at the Kitchen Fire depicts a scene from Charles Perrault’s famous fairytale, showing the heroine as she plays with a cat by the hearth while her cruel stepsisters in the background ready themselves for the ball. The painting’s grand scale, as well as its prominent monogram and date, suggest that Sully intended this work for public display (his portraits were rarely signed or dated).

Shortly following its completion, the painting was presented in 1844 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and again in 1848 in Baltimore at the Maryland Historical Society. American artist John Sartain (1808-1897) made an engraving depicting this work, ensuring its continuing popular recognition. Acquired in the 1840s by a wealthy industrialist, the painting remained in this collection until 1916. It went on to pass through several private collections throughout the 20th century.

“Cinderella shows Sully at the height of his powers, displaying the painterly flourishes, delicate glazes, and rosy palette that characterize his finest portraits,” Dr. Rudolph said. “The artist couldn’t help but make everything—even the stepsisters primping in the background—as beautiful as possible. The work is one of the finest examples of Sully’s genre paintings, a lesser-known facet of the artist’s oeuvre.”

1 comment:

  1. this is lovely. I love that i put a kitten in.