DescriptionMARTHA WALTER (American, 1875-1976)
Portrait of a Young Boy and His Toy Train, circa 1910
Oil on canvas
67-1/2 x 21-1/2 inches (171.5 x 54.6 cm)
Private collection, circa 1950s.
The present work is one of Walter's signature images of children, among the subjects for which she is best known. In this arresting portrait, the artist captures the delight of a young blond child who has just been presented with a toy train. Distinct from Walter's more casual depictions of mothers and children on the beach or at Ellis Island, the present work is clearly a formal portrait, likely to have been commissioned for the home of an affluent client, given the child's elegant costume and the portrait's grand size. In style and format, it recalls the work of Walter's teacher William Merritt Chase (1849-1916).
Estimate: $15,000 - $20,000.
Lined canvas; under UV exam, there appears to be inpainting along the extreme left edge and several spots along the extreme right edge to address frame wear, scattered minor pinpoints and dots in negative space in bottom quarter of the composition, as well as multiple lines in negative space and boy's right hand along left and right edges, most of which appear to address stretcher creases, scattered crack-fill inpainting in the boy's trousers, and an approx. 2 inch, T-shaped spot near lower right corner.
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