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Aesthetic Pleasure

Date: 1936
6 x 8 1/2 in. (15.2 x 21.6 cm.)
Medium: drypoint on white wove paper
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of Mrs. Homer D. Crotty.
Copyright: © Peggy Bacon Estate
Inscription: Signed in lower right of recto in graphite: Peggy Bacon. Inscribed in lower left of recto in graphite: Aesthetic Pleasure - 1936.
Object Number: 91.284.1
Label Text:In this etching, Bacon's satirical eye is directed at gallery visitors rather than her fellow artists. The image is based on her experiences traveling to museums in Europe, specifically the Pitti Palace in Florence. She catalogued a variety of reactions to the Renaissance masterpieces: the pontificating of an officious guide; tourists squinting in their attempt to understand the works' greatness; and a woman at the far left standing with her back to the art, happier to read about it in her guidebook than to look at it. In the background, Bacon included an art student, dutifully copying one of the paintings.