On Bos'n's Hill

On Bos'n's Hill


Edmund C. Tarbell

(American, 1862-1938)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 126 x 100.3 x 5.8 cm (49 5/8 x 39 1/2 x 2 5/16 in.); Unframed: 106 x 78 cm (41 3/4 x 30 11/16 in.); Former: 127.6 x 101.6 x 8.9 cm (50 1/4 x 40 x 3 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Mann and Robert A. Mann 1992.398


The Tarbells owned a summer home in New Castle, New Hampshire, on Great Island. Bos'n's Hill is located on the west side of Great Island and was a gathering spot for the Tarbell children. According to their daughter Josephine, this portrait depicts the artist's wife, Emeline Souther Tarbell, with the family's dog. Edmund Tarbell often used his family members as models and, in doing so, focused his art on upper-class Americans, usually women, at leisure. Here, Emeline pauses in her walk and glances down at the viewer as if to greet him or her. Along with Frank Benson, Tarbell is considered to be at the forefront of the Boston School of American painting, active in the early part of the 20th century. He was also a prominent member of The Ten American Painters, a group of American Impressionists from Boston and New York. As is evident in this painting, sunlight played a major role in his works, a style some have termed "Tarbellized Impressionism."

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