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Manhood, Marriage, and MischiefRembrandt's 'Night Watch' and Other Dutch Group Portraits$
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Harry Berger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225569

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823225569.001.0001

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Families Making Music

Families Making Music

(p.163) 11 Families Making Music
Manhood, Marriage, and Mischief

Harry Berger Jr.

Fordham University Press

Pendants are a synecdoche of the nuclear household and family. The portrait has been variously called Family Making Music, Family Portrait, and Self-Portrait with Family Members. Smith uses the terms “awkward and incohesive” to express his aesthetic evaluation, or devaluation, of aspects of the painting. Harmony is geometrically expressed by the basic scheme organizing the foreground group. It is an obtuse scalene triangle, whose three corners are formed by the three young women. The foregoing account of three domestic genres—pendants, double portraits, and family portraits—is intended to provide a gender-sensitive backdrop against which to view The Night Watch and other images of all-male association.

Keywords:   Family Making Music, Family Portrait, Self-Portrait with Family Members, harmony, pendants, double portraits, family portraits, The Night Watch

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