This work, the last the artist exhibited at the National Academy of Design, exemplifies his gently moralizing approach to genre painting. In a setting influenced by the established formulas of seventeenth-century Dutch masters, Edmonds contrasts the daughter's extravagant purchase with the faults of her disapproving parents. The father's bottle and glass and the mother's mirror imply indulgence in drink and vanity, respectively. The poor delivery girl serves as an added moral gibe to the comfortable middle-class family. The elderly man in this painting may depict or be based on Edmonds's brother, Judge John Worth Edmonds. The view through the door may represent Irving Place, where the judge lived until his death in 1872. The figure of the woman standing beside the old man is almost identical to a figure appearing in a number of works by Edmonds and may have been based on his mother.
Signature: [lower left]: FW Edmonds / 1858
Inscription: [label on frame]: SCHAUS / FINE ART / REPOSITORY, / 749 Broadway, / NEW-YORK; [inscribed and signed on paper fragment on frame] The [New] Bonnet / F. W. Edm[ond]s.
Private collection, Tucson, Arizona, 1974; with Berry-Hill Galleries, New York, 1974–75; with Kennedy Galleries, New York, 1975
Artist: Francis William Edmonds (American, Hudson, New York 1806–1863 Bronxville, New York)Date: ca. 1838 and laterMedium: Drawings in graphite and pen and brown ink on off-white wove paper, bound in marbled paper with leather spine and cornersAccession: 1987.196.3On view in:Not on view