Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager
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39.3 U.S. Finished Genre Drawings

This theme presents finished works in charcoal and pastel, often with touches of white chalk. (Note that the word “crayon” has often been used in the historical evidence; see Technical Information on Johnson's Practices.) When related to specific paintings, such works are likely to have been done after the finished paintings for a patron, or for exhibition and sale. These works may have originated using a transfer technique–from painting to drawing or from drawing to painting.

As Sheldon Keck wrote in “A Use of Infra-Red Photography in the Study of Technique,” Technical Studies in the Field of the Fine Arts, 1941:

Johnson's procedure, as thus reconstructed, seems to have been to prepare carefully in advance of his painting a drawing of the whole or of important parts. In this he determined as well the modelling and chiaroscuro to be used in his painting. He next traced the drawing and transferred the outline to the picture priming. He diligently followed this outline in his application of paint. The drawing of the "Girl with Glass" of which a painted version appears in "The New Bonnet" illustrates this conclusion. The measurements of the drawn and painted figures coincide and the infra-red photograph reveals the guide lines in the painting.

—PH

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Hills no. 39.3.1
The Sweeps
Alternate title: The Sweepers
c.1846
Crayon on paper
21 1/2 x 26 1/2 in. (54.6 x 67.3 cm)
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Record last updated March 28, 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 Sweeps, c.1846 (Hills no. 39.3.1)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?SystemID=808 (accessed on September 27, 2022).