In 1866 he exhibited a genre work entitled Comfort in Weariness at the National Academy, of which this piece The Cradle Song is likely a variation. The painting showed the interior of a rustic kitchen, and, as William Sydney Mount noted in his diary: “Before the hearth near the fire is a cradle, and the young mother, exhausted from the exercise of her domestic duties, falls asleep over the infant. The picture is simply treated and tells its own story. In this line of painting Mr. Johnson has no equal in this country.”[i] Johnson was broadly lauded for this skill, exhibiting his talent in such remarkable works as The Cranberry Harvesters, of the Timkin Gallery, and Life in the South, of the High Museum of Art.
[i] Patricia Hills in her letter of authentication regarding this piece, cites this quote as being mailed to her from Alfred Frankenstein, on June 4, 1972.
More information about this painting...
This painting is accompanied by a letter of authenticity by Eastman Johnson scholar Patricia Hills and will be included in her upcoming Johnson catalogue raisonné.
By descent through one family since the 1920s
To the current owner, private collection, Boston, Massachusetts
(typed) JOHNSON (Eastman), N.A. Deceased / The Cradle Song (20 x 25)