Blind Man and His Daughter, Vaiala, Samoa

John La Farge1890

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

John La Farge traveled to the South Seas with historian and writer Henry Adams. In October 1890 they arrived at the village of Vaiala (also spelled Vaiale) in Samoa, near the modern capital of Apia. This became their home base until they left the country in late January 1891. Here they became aquainted with the famous English author, Robert Louis Stevenson. La Farge painted many watercolors documenting his experiences there. In common with other travellers from Europe and America he saw connections between the people and scenes he witnessed and the classical and archaic past, referencing Homer and Greek scuplture in his written descriptions, and seeing visual affinities with the art of Titian, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Poussin and Puvis de Chavannes. This sketch shows a young woman leading a older blind man with a stick.

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  • Title: Blind Man and His Daughter, Vaiala, Samoa
  • Creator: John La Farge (American, 1835-1910)
  • Date Created: 1890
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: John La Farge (American, 1835-1910)
  • Provenance: William Macbeth, New York; purchased by Henry Walters, New York, December 1907; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
  • Object Type: watercolors
  • Medium: watercolor on paper
  • Inscriptions: [Initials and date] lower right: L F 1890 [Label] on reverse: Macbeth Galleries, NY [Numeral] 34
  • Exhibitions: American Drawings from the Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987., The South Sea Paintings of John LaFarge. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 1978.
  • Dimensions: H: 4 5/8 x W: 5 3/4 in. (11.7 x 14.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1907 (?)
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.918