Oil on wood
Framed: 68 x 57 x 7 cm (26 3/4 x 22 7/16 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 47.8 x 36.9 cm (18 13/16 x 14 1/2 in.)
Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.998
With this study of a disheveled person—perhaps a man named Patrick MacGregor—the popular society portraitist Samuel Waldo challenged assumptions that successful New Yorkers may have made about their city's prosperity. Waldo sold many copies of an engraving portraying "Old Pat" and made a finished portrait of him called The Beggar's Dessert that included a meager bone and bowl as attributes. In this painting, the sitter's gaunt, careworn features suggest considering him in sympathetic terms, yet his forceful gaze presents him as someone who cannot easily be made into an object of pity.
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