Arthur Bowen Davies (aka Arthur B. Davies)
A Boy in Bed
North America, American, New York
17 1/4 in. x 24 in. (43.82 cm x 60.96 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.
This painting of a young boy just awaking from sleep is an atypical composition in Davies' oeuvre. The artist and his wife, Virginia Meriweather, had two sons, Niles (born 1893) and Arthur David (born 1895). The subject is probably one of these boys. It is an informal study of a child who has apparently just awakened; he sits up without being completely aware of his surroundings. This aura of dreamlike semi-consciousness surrounds many of Davies’s painted figures, although most are fantastic, otherworldly creatures fixed not in real space but in landscapes of enchantment. Here the dark, blank background, soft edges, and diffused light contribute to the sense of reverie that permeates this simple, highly personal composition. The work came to the museum with documentation that suggests it was owned by Niles M. Davies, the artist’s elder son, until he sold it around 1967.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 41