Families Making Music

Harry Berger Jr.

in Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225569
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240937 | DOI:
Families Making Music

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Pendants are a synecdoche of the nuclear household and family. The portrait has been variously called Family Making Music, Family Portrait, and Self-Portrait with Family Members. Smith uses the terms “awkward and incohesive” to express his aesthetic evaluation, or devaluation, of aspects of the painting. Harmony is geometrically expressed by the basic scheme organizing the foreground group. It is an obtuse scalene triangle, whose three corners are formed by the three young women. The foregoing account of three domestic genres—pendants, double portraits, and family portraits—is intended to provide a gender-sensitive backdrop against which to view The Night Watch and other images of all-male association.

Keywords: Family Making Music; Family Portrait; Self-Portrait with Family Members; harmony; pendants; double portraits; family portraits; The Night Watch

Chapter.  4238 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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