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The Clemente Family

2005 Eric Fischl Born: New York, New York 1948 oil on linen 69 x 86 in. (175.3 x 218.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James F. Dicke Family © 2005, Eric Fischl 2013.72.3 Smithsonian American Art Museum
3rd Floor, East Wing

Gallery Label

The Clemente Family is a study of the complex dynamics among parents and siblings. The painting is a composite portrait based on multiple photographs Eric Fischl took of the family over the course of two hours. Fischl depicted his friend, the painter Francesco Clemente, veiled in shadow to cast him as someone who, Fischl explained, "stands outside his own reality looking in." His wife, who is partially bathed in bright light, occupies her role as a powerful matriarch.


Figure group - family


paint - oil

fabric - linen