The Connoisseur and Tired Boy

Engraver Anonymous, British, 18th century British
After Henry Robert Morland British
Publisher R. Sayer and J. Bennett British

Not on view

This satire contrasts the unflagging attention of a man holding up a candle to examine a painted landscape, with the yawns of a boy who must support the heavy frame. The work belongs to a type of night-piece popular in Europe since the seventeenth century in Europe, where artists depicted forms dramatically lit by a single, often hidden, light source. The Met's collection also includes a larger version of this mezzotint engraved by Philip Dawe published in 1773 (42.16.7).
The artist Henry Morland published a description of his related painting in 1775: "An Italian Connoisseur and tired boy. The connoisseur is an admirer of no pictures but Italian, therefore his taste is greatly affronted on being shown a Dutch picture; nevertheless his attention is engaged by some effect he sees in the landscape - has forgotten the boy, who is tired with holding the picture in a heavy frame, which he is just ready to drop."

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