Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906)
    Interior of a Farmhouse in Maine, 1865
    Oil on canvas
    13-1/8 x 15-1/4 inches (33.3 x 38.7 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: E. Johnson 1865

    Private collection;
    Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York;
    Private collection, acquired from the above, 1982;
    Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, acquired from the above, 2000;
    [With]Godel & Co., New York;
    Private collection, Connecticut.

    Showrooms of Samuel P. Avery, New York, 1865.

    According to the Eastman Johnson scholar Patricia Hills, "Interior of a Farmhouse in Maine . . . apparently was on view at the showrooms of Samuel P. Avery, when it was described in The Round Table (October 14, 1865):

    'Mr. Avery has at his rooms a late picture by Mr. Eastman Johnson, which shows the artist steadily advancing, as must be the case with so unwearied a student. The subject is the interior of a farm-house in Maine - which state, by the way, the artists are gradually finding out, and whose scenery we shall probably soon see painted until it is made as familiar as that of the White Mountains - and Mr. Johnson has given us a picture of it, in all its quaint simplicity, as careful and accurate as any that Frère ever painted of a French peasant's cottage. The wall over the large fire-place is covered with newspaper, in default of wall-paper proper, and before the hearth is a home-made rug, which in pattern and color would not lose by being put beside Indian work. We think this circumstance worth noticing. So strikingly good are the color and design of this rug, that we at first took it for a faded bit of Smyrna or Persian carpet, which we supposed had stopped at this humble home on its way to the rag-bag; but it is really a bit of home-made work, put together out of scraps and clippings of woolen cloth; and either from the same house, or from another near by, the artist brought a cushion, a curious affair - a fluffy, brioche-shaped, comfortable old thing, but having the same charm of color. Odd, isn't it? For these simple people, that made the rug and it, have probably never heard the first word about design, or color, or art of any kind, and never heard of any Titian, or Veronese, or Indian but the great divine One who is just now painting our woods and fields with such glorious color as makes Venice paltry. An old lady sits at the window sewing, and we look out upon the field where the reapers are drawing their work to a close in the long golden afternoon. It is an idyll of rustic peace, with which the artist has felt such true sympathy that we must reckon him, as we have indeed this long time, poet as well as painter: a true American singer, with not a note of Europe in his song.'

    "Johnson may have consigned some of his paintings to Avery in the mid 1860s. Frère is Edouard Frère, a well-known French genre painter of the 1860s. Smyrna is in West Turkey.

    "The picture, as we observed, holds up very well when seen at a distance. The space is convincing both in terms of the perspective and the light and dark qualities. The flat area above the fireplace seemed ambiguous, but the 1865 description makes it clear that the artist was representing a wall with newspapers affixed to it. (There also seems to be a framed picture propped on top of the mantel.) Johnson executed parts of the picture with great attention to detail, for example, the three-tiered box on the sewing table and the scissors and sewing basket. The view through the window is quite handsome with famers working in the bright sunlight. The curtain and the tassels are deftly executed.

    "Another painting by Johnson, There's No Place Like Home, collection of the Nantucket Historical Association, has the same setting: the rugs, mantel, sewing table, window, shade and view are nearly identical to Interior of a Farmhouse in Maine. The difference is that a man smoking a pipe sits in a wooden chair before the fireplace, and there is no woman sewing. . ." (Patricia Hills in a letter to Christie's dated October 16, 2001).

    We wish to thank Dr. Patricia Hills for her expertise and gracious assistance in cataloguing this painting, which will be included in her forthcoming Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné.

    This painting will be included in the forthcoming Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné by Patricia Hills.

    Condition Report*: The work is lined. There appear to be two areas of inpaint, measuring  1 1/2 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch in diamter respectively, the lower right quadrant, in the desk.  There appear to be minor specs and dots of inpaint scattered throughout the composition, and one larger spot of inpaint in the figure's hands. An old opaque vanrish makes it difficult to give an accurate read.   Framed Dimensions 22.25 X 24 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,891

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 April 14 Prints & Multiples Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thank you for the wonderful job Heritage did with promotion of this piece. So appreciative.
    Laura I.,
    Tulsa, OK
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 October 15 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,689,710