Art versus Law
David Gilmour Blythe
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
According to its first owner, who acquired the work from David Gilmour Blythe, Art versus Law “portray[ed] a true incident in the life of the artist.” Blythe showed himself arriving, canvases and brushes in hand, at the door to the attic studio on which he owed rent, only to find it padlocked by his landlord and posted “TO LET. ON GOOD SECURITY.” The artist, clearly lacking any “security,” is dressed in tattered clothes and worn boots. On the barrel to his right and in the wood box at the left are broken and empty bottles, which suggest the cause of Blythe’s distressed situation.
Oil on canvas
frame: 32 7/8 × 29 × 2 5/8 in. (83.5 × 73.7 × 6.7 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower left: "Blythe"
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
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David Gilmour Blythe (American, 1815-1865). Art versus Law, 1859-1860. Oil on canvas, frame: 32 7/8 × 29 × 2 5/8 in. (83.5 × 73.7 × 6.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 40.907 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 40.907_SL1.jpg)
overall, 40.907_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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