This painting depicts the three children of Arthur Mason, a prosperous baker from Boston, and his wife, Joanna. The family’s wealth and cultural refinement are reflected in the postures and clothing. All wear single-slashed linen sleeves, a style that required a generous use of fabric, an expensive commodity at that time. David, portrayed as a young gentleman, holds a silver-topped walking stick that symbolizes his position as the male heir, and oldest child.
Zoom in at the top of the painting to view the numbers eight, six, and four floating in the background, referring to the children’s ages.