The Legacy Of John George Brown

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Sentimental is a word often used when describing John George Brown 's work; it seems to be the all-encompassing feeling for both the creation and the popularity of his paintings. Since his name has faded from prominence, John George Brown has been labeled a 'neglected artist '. He is often overlooked in the history of American art, despite the fact that he was when he died, considered one of the richest and most successful genre painters in the late nineteenth century. Additionally, he dedicated the majority of his life’s work to painting children, while making most of his living off of specializing in those that lived on the streets. While street urchins seem like they would be an unpopular subject, his romanticized, rosy-cheeked entrepreneurs were highly sought after by the public, evoking a sentimentality that allowed his patrons to overlook the real life plight of those children and providing evidence that great success in an artist’s lifetime does not mean they will not be forgotten. One of the most successful artists during his day, John George Brown pleased the public by romanticizing the struggle of the adolescent poor. It is like he was painting an illusion over the truth; showing the public the reality of these children but not before cleaning it up and putting a smile on it, since "images of starving, unkempt children did not fit into an idolized vision of America as a land of opportunity" (6). During the second half of the 19th century, children were expected

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