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Caught Napping (Boys Caught Napping in a Field)

William Sidney Mount

American Art

This humorous narrative of lazy boys about to be punished was commissioned by George Washington Strong to illustrate a memory of his rural Long Island childhood. The artist shows that these country boys have been mischievous by playing cards and napping instead of working. The potential hazards of their indolence are suggested by a goat’s skull symbolizing death (affixed to a tree above them) and by the switch carried by their father.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1848
DIMENSIONS 29 1/16 x 36 1/8 in. (73.8 x 91.7 cm) frame: 44 1/16 x 51 1/8 x 5 3/4 in. (111.9 x 129.9 x 14.6 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "Wm. S. MONNT [sic] / 1848"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Sidney Mount (American, 1807–1868). Caught Napping (Boys Caught Napping in a Field), 1848. Oil on canvas, 29 1/16 x 36 1/8 in. (73.8 x 91.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 39.608 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 39.608_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 39.608_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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