The Irish Question

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1880s

Artist:

De Scott Evans
American, 1847–1898

About this artwork

A seemingly uncomplicated representation of two potatoes suspended by a string against a wood panel, The Irish Question is an unusual and striking trompe l’oeil painting that raises numerous questions. The title may refer to the troubled status of the Irish in the late 19th century; the hanging potatoes inflect this allusion with either ominous overtones or a dark sense of humor. Illusionistic paintings such as The Irish Question offer an enjoyable form of visual deception, and the pseudonymous signature “S.S. David” suggests that De Scott Evans relished the opportunity to puzzle his viewers on many levels.

On View

American Art, Gallery 173

Artist

De Scott Evans

Title

The Irish Question

Origin

United States

Date

1880–1889

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed "S.S. David" at lower left

Dimensions

30.5 × 25.4 cm (12 × 10 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Carol W. Wardlaw and Jill Burnside Zeno; Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowments

Reference Number

2004.3

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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