Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager
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Photo: Vose Galleries Archives
John Greenleaf Whittier's poem "The Barefoot Boy," illustrated in The Little Pilgrim, January 1855
Photo: Public domain
27.0 Literary/Historical

In addition to his scenes of everyday life and portraits of people, Johnson created images of historical events and figures from works of literature, drama, and music. For example, “Carry Me, and I’ll Drum You Through” was inspired by an incident from the Battle of Antietam, 1862, and Membership Vote at the Union League Club, May 11, 1876, recorded a contentious meeting in which he participated much later. His Marguerite, Cosette, and Minnehaha are personifications of fictional heroines from novels and poetry. His Boy Lincoln represents both the future United States president and the archetypical American youth who, with determination and hard work, could succeed. Johnson rendered several of these imaginative images as both paintings and drawings. These literary and historical works evince both his personal interest in those subjects and his awareness of their popularity with the broad public. —AM

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Hills no. 27.0.5
The Barefoot Boy
Alternate titles: possibly The Bare-foot Boy; possibly The Barefooted Boy; Barefoot Boy; Whittier's Barefoot Boy
1860
Oil on board
12 3/4 x 9 1/2 in. (32.4 x 24.1 cm)
Signed and dated lower left: E. Johnson 60
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Record last updated April 6, 2022. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "The Barefoot Boy, 1860 (Hills no. 27.0.5)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?SystemID=263 (accessed on May 26, 2022).