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Image of Time to Go

Francis William Edmonds
American, 1806–1863

Time to Go

1857

Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, New York
Dimensions:
25 3/8 in. x 30 3/8 in. (64.45 cm x 77.15 cm)
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Accession Number: 1989.0002.0011

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection

Currently On View


"Time to Go" incorporates two important Dutch themes that Francis William Edmonds admired: still life and the domestic interior. The painting, which dates from late in the artist’s career, depicts two young lovers and their impatient chaperone. The warm tones establish a mood of domestic intimacy, as does the golden glow of the ambient light and the young woman’s dress. The still-life elements at the lower left, as well as the cast-iron stove (its dying embers stoked by an obviously restive father), further contribute to the atmosphere.

Contrasting motifs reinforce the sentimental nature of the narrative. The open doorway behind the father reveals the bed he wishes to occupy, while the closed door behind the maiden alludes to her virtue and likewise represents her state of mind. The two men lean from their chairs at opposing angles, creating a void between them that directs attention upward to the clock, which shows the hour to be near midnight. The composition is structured to resemble a theatrical set, and the viewer is an audience member, observing the domestic drama as it unfolds before him.

American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 9, p. 50.

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