Bird Nesting

  • Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, Bird Nesting, 1837, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Joshua C. Taylor through the Director's Discretionary Fund, 1981.51

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Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze spent his early career as an itinerant portraitist in Maryland and Virginia. He painted this scene of a young boy while he was experimenting with portraiture, and the boy’s pose allowed the artist to show various angles of the body. Images of children at play were popular in the 1830s, when childhood seemed to be an increasingly fleeting time of life. Three years before Leutze painted this scene, the French writer Alexis de Tocqueville announced that “in America there is, in truth, no adolescence. At the close of boyhood [the young American] is a man and begins to trace out his own path.” (Mintz, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood, 2004)

Title
Bird Nesting
Artist
Date
1837
On View
Dimensions
13 3/8 x 12 1/8 in. (34.0 x 30.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase in memory of Joshua C. Taylor through the Director's Discretionary Fund

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – other – nest
  • Animal – bird
  • Landscape – tree
  • Figure male – child
  • Recreation – sport and play – climbing
Object Number
1981.51
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI