Premier Chagrin

Artist: Daniel Ridgway Knight
Premier Chagrin, a painting

Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839-1924), Premier Chagrin, 1892, oil on canvas, 60 x 47 x 1 inches, Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Jack R. and Mary Lois Wheatley.

Commentary by Bethanne Anderson
Associate Professor of Visual Arts

Every once in a while, if you are lucky, you walk through a museum and it’s as though a piece feels like a magnet that forces you to come closer. This painting will not let you pass unnoticed; I could talk about the technique of flawless skin tones and back lighting a landscape any plein aire painter would keep for life without selling. How the figures are proportionally perfect and how my grandmother can understand it without an art education.

But what I love the most is that I am, for a moment, (without the aid of science fiction or special effects) transported from my running around to find parking and daily commitments in the twenty-first century, to a moment of peace. I find myself walking on a French road, passing two friends in conversation with the warm sun about to touch me. For just a second I hear one woman’s soft whispers comforting the other as she reaches out to touch her arm before I pass.

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