Untitled Document
Afternoon Rest - William Sanford Mason
William Sanford Mason
"Afternoon Rest", 1859
Oil on canvas
18 x 12 inches
Signed and dated lower right
MME Fine Art Enlarge

Mason was known for figural work inspired by ancient and contemporary literature, as well as historical portraits and genre scenes. His paintings were typically lush, with rich details and expressive figures. Afternoon Rest is an excellent example of this kind of work, with the rosy-cheeked subjects and vibrant bucolic setting reminiscent of the works of Boucher, the master of French eighteenth-century genre painting. Like many of his other genre scenes, Afternoon Rest reflects and celebrates the natural bounty that surrounded the artist in Lancaster County. He evokes the beauty and promise of harvest-time with the fields of wheat from which the two resting girls have collected their bushels. The theme of resting farm workers has been echoed throughout European art, from Brueghel to Millet, and Mason successfully translates this tradition for American audiences.

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