Charles Cromwell Ingham (1786 - 1863): The Flower Girl

Charles Cromwell Ingham (1786 - 1863): The Flower Girl

2/6/2021, 4:58:41 PM
Charles Cromwell Ingham (1786 - 1863): The Flower Girl, 1846, Oil on canvas, 91,4 x 72,1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Charles Cromwell Ingham was an Irish portrait painter and later founder of the New York National Academy of Design during the 19th century. "The Flower Girl" is an unusual subject for Ingham, an artist who rarely strayed from portraiture. Images of street vendors were popular in American and European painting at the time, but more often the subjects were enterprising boys rather than girls. Ingham may well have been familiar with a popular image of the same title by the Spanish painter Esteban Murillo. The setting for Murillo’s picture is virtually identical to Ingham’s and the Spanish flower girl offers her wares with a direct appeal to her viewer, as does Ingham’s American girl. Under her left arm, Ingham's girl carries a magnificent bouquet of flowers that he must have painted from life, but were beyond compare not only in contemporary still life painting but also on the streets of New York. In her right hand, she offers a potted fuchsia, the gesture emblematic of the goddess Flora. The plant itself is symbolic of frustrated love. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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