McSorley’s Back Room (1912) by John Sloan

McSorley's Back Room - John Sloan - 1912

Artwork Information

TitleMcSorley's Back Room
ArtistJohn Sloan
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions66 x 81.3 cm (26 x 32 in.)
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationHood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

About McSorley's Back Room

The artwork “McSorley’s Back Room” was created by the artist John Sloan in the year 1912. This oil on canvas embodies the essence of New Realism and is classified as a genre painting. It measures 66 by 81.3 cm (26 x 32 in.) and is currently housed at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.

The artwork depicts an interior scene set in McSorley’s Old Ale House, a longstanding and renowned tavern located in New York City. Two men occupy the room: one seated near a table by a bright window, with a reflective mood suggested by his posture and the light illuminating his figure. The other two are engaged in conversation at a table across the room, under the subtle glow of hanging lamps. The atmosphere is warm, with tones suggesting the relaxed ambience of the establishment. Vibrant contrasts of light and dark enhance the composition, from the sunlight spilling through the window to the cozy glow of the fireplace. Visible on the walls are pictures and memorabilia that add to the historic and lived-in feel of the room. The artwork captures a slice of daily life, resonating with the ethos of the New Realism movement, which sought to portray everyday scenes with a sense of authenticity and palpable atmosphere.

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