After Midnight Mass, 15th Century
After Midnight Mass, 15th Century

After Midnight Mass, 15th Century

This painting is the finished article of an oil sketch currently (below) in The Smithsonian American Art Museum titled “After Midnight Mass, 15th Century” 18½ x 36 inches listed as ‘Owned by Baker Pisano, New York’. Control number 8657001 painted circa 1897, number 122 in a list of Boughton’s works.

The painter G.H. Boughton was born near Norwich in England on December 4 1833 and as an infant was taken to America, where he lived mainly in Albany New York. There, aged 19 he sold his first work to the American Art Union, and used the proceeds to visit London. He returned to America for two years, then studied in Paris, and finally settled in London at the beginning of the 1860s.

Boughton exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, other British venues, the National Academy in New York, and various international exhibitions. In 1871 he was elected member of the National Academy of Design in America, in 1879 became ARA and RA in 1896.

Boughton specialised in figures in landscapes – typically peasants at work. He also chose some historical subjects. He favoured depicting women rather than men, and tended to the decorative, and sometimes rather too much to the sentimental.

In addition, Boughton was an accomplished book illustrator; his works included ‘Sketching Rambles in Holland’ together with his American-born friend E.A. Abbey, and a Rip van Winkle. Boughton’s work is difficult to find on the walls of the galleries. An example of his Dutch work ‘Weeding the Pavement’ is part of Henry Tate’s original collection, but rarely comes out of hiding.
Circa 1834