Children in the factory 1916

Description of the picture see below.

JQAW# G_1916_060
Oil on cardboard 47 x 65 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams IV 16 Scutari
Unknown private collection.
Image: Dorotheum Vienna Auction Catalogue 10.12.2007

A group of 15 young girls are sitting on benches and working together at a long table. The girls are colorfully dressed, all wearing an apron and a headscarf tied at the back. Above the table a kerosene lamp, in the background a machine with handwheel drive, on a side table empty cans, on the floor baskets with fish. Through a large open window with interior beams the sea can be ssen.

The painting, which was incorrectly labeled "Children in a Weaving Room" at the auction, probably instead depicts the interior of a small factory producing canned fish. The strongly expressionistic painting represents a new subject for Adams, namely the everyday life of working children, and was painted in the area of Lake Skutari in Albania in 1916. All the paintings created at this time in and around Skutari depict the everyday life of the population, far from the romanticizing genre scenes from Volendam or the sophisticated world of the upper middle classes and aristocracy in Vienna, for which Adams became known. His painting style also changed drastically: expressive brushwork, strong colors, and only sketchy representation, without recognizable individual facial features, characterize the Skutari paintings. Due to the war (Adams was a member of the artists' group of the War Press Corps and visited numerous front sections) Adams was confronted with the reality of social and economic conditions (child labor) in the "periphery" of the monarchy, which he depicted in a fresh and new style, far from any social romanticism.


Paintings from the Skutari period:

Going to church.
Lead-roof mosque (lost).
Cattle market (lost, LOST ART!!).
Blacksmith shop (lost).
Children in factory (this work).
Mother and child.
Noble Albanian woman (lost).
Albanian spy (lost).




Auction Dorotheum Vienna 10.12.2007, lot 292.
Unknown private collection.