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The Gardener

1979 Jon Stroup Born: 1917 oil on canvas 39 7/8 x 40 1/8 in. (101.3 x 101.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1985.30.62 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 44B

Luce Center Quote

"It sometimes strikes me as odd that I paint the way I do, for I would have thought, considering my predilection for modernism, that I would be more abstract." Artist's statement, SAAM curatorial file

Luce Center Label

In this painting, Jon Stroup emphasized the dramatic contrast between the cool shade of the interior and the heat in the garden outside. The image is representational, but the windows, plants, and shadows create abstract patterns that are as interesting as the figures. The dark figure on the right could be a statue or a person, watching the gardener from the shadows, and this, together with the strange plants gazing in the window, transforms the naturalistic painting into something more disquieting.


Architecture Interior - detail - window

Architecture Interior - domestic - living room

Figure female


paint - oil

fabric - canvas