We have little information about American artist George Baker Jr., other than his life span. We do note a beautiful portrait done of four American children done in 1853. We do not yet know which the childrn are. The children look go be four boys, but we are not positive about the younger child wearing a white dress.
We have little information about American artist George Baker Jr., other than his life span.
We do note a beautiful portrait done of four American children done in 1853. We do not yet know which the childrn are. The children look go be four boys, but we are not positive about the younger child wearing a white dress.
The boys here are enjoying theselves blowing bumbles. We are not sure when children began doing this. We have noted other 19th century paintings. Bubble blowing is dpicted in one of the most well known painting, Millais "Bubbles" painting. We also note an Allingham painting. It continues being a popular activity for childrn.
The portrait offers a good example of age graded clothing, a common convention in the 19th century, both in America and Europe. There are four children, but three different outfits. The two middle boys are dressed similarly, but are not twins.
The oldest boy wears a black jacket and matching long pants. His jacket does not have lapels and buttonsat the collar. Notice the brass buttons. He wears a white collar and green bow without tails. Note the black color. At the time, black frock coats had become standard wear for men. Thus as boys got older they were more likely to be dressed in black, although the jacket is not an adult cut.
As best we can tell, th middle boys are dressed alike, only with different color jackets. They are the standard jackets of the day for younger children. They connect near the collar and then are cut away. Notice the short jacket sleeves and the ballon blouse sleeves. This style was also worn by girls. We also notice boys in tunics at the same time with similar sleeves, both in America, Belgium, and France. The boys have hite collars whih look to be part of the louse and not detachd. Both boys even have identical bows with tails. Although we can not tell for sure, both boys probbly wear long pants. Kneepants had begun to appear in the 1850, but long pants were still more common, even for younger children.
The youngest child wears a white dress that has what looks like a yellow o gold waist ribbon with pantalettes, white stockings, and black strap shes. Note the pink ribbons at the shoulders. A common fashion for centuries was to decorate children's dresses with shoulder ribbons. We are not sure at this time if these were symbolic of leading strings. We thought theu might be, but some HBC readers disagree. We believe that this child is a boy, although there is not way to be sure. The child looks rather boyish to us and the hort hair suggests a boy, although here may be a center part which would suggest a girl. The pink ribbons are not useful as a gender indicator as the modern pink/blue gender conventions had notyet developed.
All of the children have similar short hair cuts. The youngest child looks o have a pooly deined cebter part, but it is difficult to tell for sure. Parents at the time varied in how they handled breeching and hair cutting. Some parents cut a boy's curls before brreching him which may have been the case here.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main individual A-F artist alphabetical page]
[Return to the Main American artist page]
[Return to the Main American page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Artists] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries] [Girls]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Satellite sites] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing artistic pages:
[Return to the Main artistic page]
[Chronologies] [Individuals] [National] [Styles]