Oil on canvas
Overall: 24 1/4 x 36 in. ( 61.6 x 91.4 cm ) frame: 36 3/4 x 48 1/2 x 4 in. (36 3/4 x 48 1/2 x 4 in.)
A family gathered around the hearth for Sabbath Bible Reading. The grandfather sits to the left of the dwindling fire, bible open on his lap. A girl sits at his knee, listening intently. Other family members are positioned nearby; the grandmother gazing at the embers, the father in a Queen Anne style chair, the mother nursing her baby; two young children whispering at far right; and a young man and woman at left, apparently lost in their own thoughts. Above the mantel is a row of objects, most prominent among them a pair of export porcelain parrots.
"Sunday Morning" depicts an American family in the aftermath of the Civil War and reflects the country's process of healing and recuperation. The scene is of a Sabbath Bible reading and suggests the reawakening of religion, as well as the virtues of old-fashioned domestic values as antidotes for the suffering of wartime. Painted in the spirit of Colonial Revivalism, the scene captures the country's struggle to regain its moral grounding after the shattering experience of civil war.
"Fine Arts," The Evening Post, April 17, 1866, p. 2. "Soiree at the Academy of Design. Forty-First Annual Exhibition," New York Daily Tribune, April 17, 1866, p. 8 "National Academy of Design. Forty-First Annual Exhibition," The New York Leader, April 28, 1866, p. 1. "New Publications," The Albion, May 5, 1866, p. 213. "Fine Arts. The Forty-First Exhibition of the National Academy of Design," The Nation, May 11, 1866, p. 603. "National Academy of Design," American Art Journal, May 31, 1866, p. 84. "Editor's Easy Chair," Harper's Magazine, June 1866, pp. 117-8. "The National Academy of Design," New York Tribune, July 4, 1866, p. 5. Tuckerman, Henry T., Book of the Artists, American Artist Life, Comprising Biographical and Critical Sketches of American Artists: Preceded by an Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of Art in America, New York: P. Putnam & Son, 1867, pp. 466-71. Ingram, J.S., The Centennial Exposition, Described and Illustrated, being a Concise and Graphic Description of this Grand Enterprise, Commemorative of the First Centennary of American Independence …, 1876, Philadelphia: Hubbard Bros., p. 374. "The Fine Arts at the Centennial.-VIII," American Architect and Building News, August 19, 1876, pp. 269-70. Hills, Patricia, Eastman Johnson, New York: Crown Publishers, 1972, pp. 38. Hills, Patricia, The Genre Painting of Eastman Johnson: The Sources and Development of His Style and Themes, New York Garland Publishing, Inc., 1977, pp. 63, 92-3. Koke, Richard J., American Landscape and Genre Paintings in the New York Historical Society, Vol. II, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1982, p. 236. Carbone, Teresa A. and Hills, Patricia, et al., Eastman Johnson: Painting America, New York: Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Rizzoli International Publications, 1999, pp.66-8. Gallati, Barbara Dayer, "American Genre painting and the Rise of 'Average Taste,'" The Magazine Antiques, November/December, 2011, pp. 134-141.
The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.