William Henry Cotton (1885–1958) Sonny: Portrait of the Artist' Wife and Son. Oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 25 1/4 in. Signed lower left: WH Cotton (framed)
Cotton’s double portrait depicts his wife in profile holding their son, who embraces his mother. The delicate features of the boy and the intricate pattern of the wallpaper are enhanced by Cotton’s careful brushwork, while the rich purple of his wife’s dress stands in contrast to the light camel brown of the boy’s outfit. Cotton’s use of light to create areas of highlight and shadow defines the faces of his loved ones and creates an intimacy and verisimilitude in the work.