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Caught Napping (Boys Caught Napping in a Field)

William Sidney Mount

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890, 5th Floor
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"
COLLECTIONS American Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 39.608
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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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
IMAGE overall, 39.608_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (83%)
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