The Lesson

  • Hugo Ballin, The Lesson, 1907, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans, 1910.9.1

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Hugo Ballin loved music and liked to play the piano when he was not painting. In this image the teacher plays a portative organ and her student follows on a flute. Before the ruptures of the First World War, middle-class American families still aspired to a nineteenth-century ideal of gentility. Children, particularly girls, were encouraged to study art and music as part of their upbringing. The dark, richly patterned background of this painting evokes a luxurious tapestry, reflecting the cultivated life of young ladies at the turn of the twentieth century.

Title
The Lesson
Artists
Date
1907
On View
Dimensions
50 x 40 in. (127.0 x 101.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of William T. Evans

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – female
  • Performing arts – music – flute
  • Occupation – education – student
  • Performing arts – music – virginal
Object Number
1910.9.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI