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The Musicale

Stacy Tolman

American Art

“Musicales,” social evenings featuring music making, and their depiction in painting were exceedingly popular during the late nineteenth century among the upper classes, interested in demonstrating their cultivation and dedication to an artistic lifestyle. Departing from the typical parlor setting, Stacy Tolman relocated the musicale to the artist’s studio, lending the scene a bohemian ambiance. He also pictured himself as the violinist, evoking classical comparisons between music and visual art. The pale green palms and parasol hanging at the upper left may be a nod to late nineteenth-century Japanism, a fascination with Asian art that influenced the Aesthetic Movement.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1887
DIMENSIONS 36 1/4 x 46 in. (92 x 116.9 cm) frame: 46 1/8 x 56 x 3 3/4 in. (117.2 x 142.2 x 9.5 cm)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left (traced over weaker signature): "Stacy Tolman / 1887"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
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