William Sanford Mason (1824–1864)
Caught Napping, 1857
Oil on canvas, 20 x 24 1/4 in.
Signed and dated lower right: W. Sanford Mason
Provenance: collection of C. J. Price & Co.; private collection, Massachusetts
Exhibited: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1858
Caught Napping is a fine example of the light-hearted spirit of some American genre painting. Mason paints an enchanting composition of a farm girl tickling the nose of a napping farm boy as he rests under the shade of a tree. The ruddy-faced figures are placed close to the foreground, and the background opens up onto a wheat field that the boy should be tending.