John Lewis Krimmel, Study for "A German Funeral"
Krimmel’s work is of particular interest to scholars for its portrayal of social life and gender relationships in the young American nation. Shown here is his study for a painting of the funeral of a young father. The man’s wife, children, and parents grieve at the side of his coffin as it about to be lowered into the ground. Their slumped bodies and sad faces express not only personal loss, but also a sense of fear at what the future may bring. Without a male provider, their future is deeply uncertain and they may need to depend on charity for survival. A child blowing on a dandelion in the lower left is too young to understand the gravity of the moment.