American subside by the late 1840’s. It

American genre painting can invariably be equated with prominent names such as John Singleton Copley, Washington Allston, and William Sydney Mount. Throughout our history genre painting has been a male-dominated scene. This notion not only applies to the artist, but also to the context of many famous genre paintings.However, as time progressed, women began to play a larger role in genre painting; both as artists and subjects.
In an article entitled “Full of Home, Love and Simplicity,” Elizabeth Johns discusses women’s role in genre painting both as artist and subject. Regarding the subject, Johns addresses several patterns in the female role. The first being that women are absent in many historically important genre paintings. Likewise, when women are present, they play a “subsidiary” role, as in the painting “Bargaining for a Horse” by William Sydney Mount. Mount’s painting depicts two men conversing next to a horse in the foreground while the only woman in the painting is placed in the far background, barely noticeable. Furthermore, Johns feels that in some cases images of women in genre paintings are even critical. Using a second Mount painting titled “Cider Making,” Johns argues that the female in line for cider is seemingly “forced to wait her turn.”
In addition to these patterns, Johns noted the idea of “separate spheres” proposed by Harriet Martineau, a famous 19th-century writer. These spheres represent ideologies of masculinity and femininity.Johns feels that women are “undifferentiated” in many genre paintings. These include two works by William Sydney Mount entitled “Rustic Dance After a Sleigh Ride” and “The Sportsman’s Last Visit.” In both paintings, Johns claims that the women are painted plainly and without character, while the men are distinctly portrayed. Although these patterns were evident in many famous works, they began to subside by the late 1840’s. It was around this time that painters such as Tomp…