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Video transcript

we're in Pasadena California at the Hyundai I get San Marino ok we're in San Marino California at the Huntington Library and we're looking at painting by America SOT breakfast in bed which is dated to approximately 1894 it's really a gorgeous little painting is it's very beautiful that we see up a woman lying in bed just the upper part of her body and she's got her arms around and no three-year-old baby yeah very red cheeked yeah very rosy cheeked and the mother is sort of looking off out of the canvas in a kind of wistful way whereas the child is absolutely present yeah space right and upright as I said she is holding the child almost with her arm like a seat belt right didn't slip off the bed that's right restraining the child right it's true you can see there's something on the mother's mind but not the child no it's true the child is really in this moment and and the mother has a much broader kind of perspective and it's this incredible kind of contrast between their attention yeah that is really intimate and really powerfully expressed and beautifully yeah and so there's a lot of finish I think in there more finish in their faces but then all of these loose luscious brushstrokes and the sort of whitish blue of the pillow and the bed and even in the flesh of their skin is hatch marks of paint there are very this reasonable is something incredibly abstract about the way that the volumetric forms of the limbs are in contrast to the relative flatness of a her nightgown of the child oh yeah and the sheets and the pillows all of which is white and so there's this really complex through the interplay of those limbs against this relatively abstract early page really talked about although there is hatching of you know blues and red in the tones of their skin yeah no it's it's but it's true there's there's more Pedro Lena's but it's so it looks like a very casual moment and see if you just study it a little bit more carefully how carefully composed it is so there's this diagonal line formed by the mother's body but then this blonde the side of her face on the side of her face right these blocks of green befriend that frame it yes I'm darkness I'm free and military doors actually and the fourth corner is picked up by a kind of deeper tone in the sheets as well yeah and so she's sort of locked into place by those geometric forms and then the cup and saucer but I'm really taken by this notion of attention and the relative difference of the attentions of the two figures but also in the way that Cassatt seems to be constructing our visual attention yeah focusing on those faces on the lens to a lesser extent to the white and to the greens around you and so there seems to be this really wonderful kind of agreement between the subject and actually the choices that the artist made in representation yeah it's a beautiful piece