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19th century oil on canvas depicts an idyllic genre scene in which well-dressed, middle-class woman and children celebrate their country’s independence by eating, drinking, and entertaining one another. On one level, this painting is exactly what it seems: a charming scene that pokes fun at human foibles. However, recent scholarship has suggested that these paintings show an allegorical commentary on the state of the nation and the abolition of slavery. According to this interpretation, the woman in green has an undignified pose and the general merriment that indicates a lack of respect. Additionally, the black male servant at the right is holding a tray of fruit for the woman in the centre, which vignettes can be read as symbols of societal upheaval.


H 16 in. x W 20 in. x D 5 in.

H 40.64 cm x W 50.8 cm x D 12.7 cm

19th Century Oil On Canvas of a Family at a Fourth of July Picnic

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