Old and Young, a painting executed by Fredericksburg artist Gari Melchers in 1890, will be featured in a spotlight exhibition at Gari Melchers Home and Studio starting Saturday, Sept. 3. The painting has not been seen at Belmont since 1977.
Made possible by a generous loan from private collectors, the painting will be on display through Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. Set in Melchers’ studio on the North Sea dunes of Holland, the painting depicts a fisherman cuddling a sleeping child in his lap while a female figure hovers in the shadows of a hearth in the far corner of the room. The painting also shows a Dutch ship model sitting on a nearby table, a model of which will be included in the exhibition.
The painting was created after Melchers settled in North Holland in 1884. For the next 30 years, he maintained studios in the area, drawn to its rustic inhabitants whose lives centered on work, worship and family. Wholesome images of working class families, with a frequent focus on age juxtaposed with youth, were popular themes in the art of the period. Such images became Melchers’ special domain.
Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, is located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg. Public hours are Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For directions and more information, call (540) 654-1015, or visit the museum website at www.garimelchers.org.