Two versions of The Listeners were completed, with one being shown at the National Academy in 1865. This painting was included in the Museum of Fine Arts’ 1879 and 1924 exhibitions.
This work is framed with a period frame, likely the original.
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William Morris Hunt instructed women artists in his Summer Street studio for three years, beginning in 1868. The combination of Hunt’s contagious passion, his extensive knowledge of art, and his prominent social standing in Boston allowed him to profoundly influence the taste of art collectors’s and pave the way for what was to become the Boston School of art.
After attending Harvard University, Hunt spent eleven years in Europe where he was exposed to leading artists of the time, including the French Barbizon painters. Upon returning to the States in 1855, he married the socialite Louisa Dumaresq Perkins, whose Boston Brahmin father immediately gave Hunt entrée to Boston’s inner social circles. These friendships were of considerable importance not only for his own career, but also for his persistence in bringing the works of the French Barbizon artists into New England collections. Boston soon grew to favor these impressionistically-rendered canvases, which ultimately led to the American Impressionist style prominent among the Boston School artists.
(possibly) Eventually to collection of Mrs. Peter C. Brooks, by 1879
Eventually to collection of Mrs. John Malcolm Forbes, Milton, Massachusetts, at least by 1924
By descent within the Forbes family to present
- (on frame) Fogg Museum of Art loan label / 7407.1 / Dr. Forbes
- (on frame) Doll & Richards Gallery, Boston
- (top stretcher) Museum of Fine Arts / Hunt / 157.24 / Mrs. J. Malcolm Forbes
- (possibly) Fortieth Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, 1865
- Exhibition of the Works of William Morris Hunt, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, November 11 – December 15, 1879, No. 91
- Memorial Exhibition of the Works of William Morris Hunt, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, March 8 – 31, 1924