The son of landscape painter Lemuel M. Wiles, Irving Ramsey Wiles grew up in upstate New York, where his father worked as an art instructor. Irving assisted his father for a year before moving on to the @aslnyc under the instruction of James Carroll Beckwith, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, and William Merritt Chase. The Loiterers depicts Wiles and his wife Mary lingering over a café table, likely drinking Café Brulot. Both figures are watching the preparation of the drink, which entails pouring cognac or brandy over a sugar cube, lighting the cube on fire, and then dropping the cube into a cup of coffee. The image reflects Wiles’ early adoption of elements of French Impressions with Bohemian subject matter.
Signature: Signed and dated lower left
About Irving Ramsey Wiles
American, 1861-1948, Utica, New York