Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Collection Museum of Fine Arts
Title An Impromptu Affair in the Days of the Code
Object ID MFA-39.06
Object Name Painting
Description Frederick James initially studied art in Philadelphia, then moved to Paris where his skills were refined under the tutelage of Jean-Léon Gérôme during the 1870s. While in Paris, James learned the importance of accuracy of detail, such as in costume and setting, to create an easily understood narrative style. The subject of An Impromptu Affair in the Days of the Code is a duel between a civilian and a soldier and depicts the precise moment when pistols have been drawn. Dueling was an institution imported from Europe. In the United States, during the years of the Revolution and Civil War, duels were popular in the South and were considered an aristocratic activity. The tense moment is emphasized by the overturned chairs, numerous corks strewn about the floor and empty wine glasses. The drama of the scene captivates the us, leaving us wondering about the duel's outcome.
Artist JAMES, Frederick
Date ca. 1890
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions H-25.5 W-40.5 inches
Credit line Gift of Charles T. and Emilie Shean
On Exhibit Yes, Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts