This image depicts three girls sitting. Two of them are blonde twins one of them is older is sitting above them. They are all in white dresses with bows.

Frank W. Benson

Boston Evening Transcript, “The Fine Arts. Recent Paintings by Mr. Benson,” October 1, 1908, p.11 – “There is an inspiring freshness about the work of Mr. Benson, which has something of the feeling of morning and eternal youth. The beauty of girlhood, its grace, its charm, he suggests in a thousand subtle ways…”

Three Children, which depicts the Wellington sisters, was exhibited in 1908 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia in the “Ten American Painters” and was lent by its owner, Mrs. L.B. Wellington, who had commissioned it a year before. It was the artist’s most recent work and by many standards, his more important to date. The three children were positioned by open French doors in the Wellington brownstone on Beacon Hill. The polychrome bust on the Chippendale chest behind the girls is after the well-known work by Desiderio da Settignano in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. This placement of the figures enabled the artist to paint the girls in natural light. In effect, the outdoors was brought indoors. It is a monumental example of Benson’s Impressionism. The older sister and two twins are set in a room in their home familiar to them, a room filled with furniture and flooded with daylight. Although they are posed on a single plane, the canvas does relate to Sargent’s Daughters of Edward D. Boit (1882, Oil on canvas, 87″ x 87″, Museum of Fine Arts Boston). Both paintings share the bravura brushwork and sense of immediacy that was the hallmark of American Impressionism.


Frank W. Benson

Three Children (The Wellington Sisters), 1907
Oil on canvas
50″ x 38″
Signed and dated lower right


Mrs. L. B. Wellington, Boston, to her daughter
Mrs. Palfrey Persons
By family descent
Adelson Galleries, Inc., New York, NY
Manoogian Collection, acquired from the above in 1999
Private Collection, Michigan, acquired from the above