By John F McGuigan Jr. and Mary K. McGuigan
“The first modern appraisal of James E. Freeman reconstructs his life and vocation, from his origins as an academically trained itinerant portraitist in central New York State to his maturity as an internationally renowned expatriate painter of humble Italian peasants, a diplomat, and a memoirist. A fixture of the vibrant art scene in Rome from 1836 until his death there almost fifty years later, Freeman forged a unique career centered on fancy pictures–life size character studies, similar to portraits, of rustic contadini, careworn beggars, and impishly precocious urchins. Fancy pictures and other paintings of sentiment constituted a visual component of the cult of sensibility, whose adherents believed that art could foster empathy, compassion, and ethical behavior by bringing worldly American and European audiences literally face to face with the lest fortunate.”
Softcover, 166 pages, color photographs.