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MFA Images: Women in Art

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  • Eleanor

    1907
    Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862–1951)

    Description

    A sparkling icon of wholesome American girlhood, Frank Weston Benson’s Eleanor depicts the painter’s daughter on the porch of their summer home at North Haven, Maine. Benson won national acclaim for his sunny scenes of healthy children enjoying an outdoor country life, and Eleanor is one of his most beloved images. It was purchased for the MFA’s collection almost immediately after it was finished.
    At the time, Benson, along with his friend Edmund Charles Tarbell [23.532], was one of the chief instructors of painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was also an alumnus of the school who, like many of his contemporaries, went on to complete his artistic education in Paris. In the 1890s Benson developed his characteristic style, combining the bright colors and fluid brushwork of French Impressionism with the firm foundation in academic figure painting he had learned at the Académie Julian. In 1898 Benson and Tarbell became founding members of the Ten. This band of American painters was dedicated to promoting and exhibiting their work outside of the traditional system of juried exhibitions. The young artists had become frustrated with the conservative juries that controlled most of the major annual exhibitions, and they held independent shows in New York, and occasionally in Philadelphia and Boston, until 1919. Eleanor was included in their 1908 display.

    Benson’s portrait of his daughter is a textbook example of the manner in which most American artists adapted Impressionism. Benson esteemed his academic training and never dissolved his figures into light to the degree that French artists favored. He used a small brush to define Eleanor’s features, painting her realistically with an authentic sense of weight and volume. But Benson gave himself much more freedom in other parts of the composition: the shimmering sea and leaves seem to vibrate with intensity, Eleanor’s pink dress is loosely painted with broad strokes, and the details of her hat are abbreviated. The whole effect is vital and effervescent, much like an ideal summer day.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.W. Benson./1907

    Provenance

    1908, sold by the artist to the MFA for $1,200. (Accession Date: June 11, 1908)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    64.13 x 76.83 cm (25 1/4 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    08.326

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, February 12, 2015 – May 24, 2015

    Collections

    Americas

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  • Woman in Breton Costume Seated in a Meadow

    Study for Breton Women at a Pardon

    1887
    Pascal Adolphe Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (French, 1852–1929)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: P A J DAGNAN-B 1887

    Provenance

    December 5, 1887, purchased by Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris; July 3, 1889 or September 19, 1889, sold by Boussod, Valadon et Cie. to M. Knoedler and Co., New York; October 28, 1889, sold by Knoedler to J. Eastman Chase Gallery, Boston [see note 1], probably for Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923), Boston; 1923, bequeathed by David P. Kimball to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] As "Bretonne de Face." Getty Provenance Index, Goupil et Cie. Records, PI record no. G-28389 (stock book 12, no. 18898, p. 43), which gives a sale date to Knoedler of July 3, 1889; and M. Knoedler and Co. Records, PI record no K-9982 (stock book 4, no. 6303, p. 116), which gives a purchase date from Boussod, Valadon et Cie. of September 19, 1889.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife Clara Bertram Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    41.6 x 32.4 cm (16 3/8 x 12 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.527

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Before the Battle

    1858, retouched in 1862
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English, 1828–1882)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed with monogram lower right: DGR 1858

    Provenance

    Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908, Cambridge); to his daughter Miss Sara Norton (1864-1922, Cambridge); from whom purchased by MFA, 1912.

    Credit Line

    Picture Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Surtees 106

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 42.2 x 27.3 cm (16 5/8 x 10 3/4 in.) Framed: 65.1 x 50.8 cm (25 5/8 x 20 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.1164

    Medium or Technique

    Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper, mounted on canvas

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Watercolors

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  • Girls in Sunlight

    1895
    Philip Leslie Hale (American, 1865–1931)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: PHILIP HALE/MATUNUCK, RI 1895

    Provenance

    The artist; to Lilian Westcott (Mrs. Philip Leslie) Hale, his wife; to MFA, 1953, gift of Lilian Westcott Hale.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Lilian Westcott Hale (Mrs. Philip Leslie Hale)

    Details

    Dimensions

    73.66 x 99.06 cm (29 x 39 in.)

    Accession Number

    53.2209

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse)

    1889
    Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890)

    Description

    Van Gogh painted Augustine Roulin, the wife of Joseph Roulin, in bold, exaggerated colors against a vividly patterned background; the rope in her hands leads to a cradle. At right, the painter inscribed the title “La Berceuse,” which means both “lullaby” and “she who rocks the cradle.” Van Gogh once wrote, “I want to paint men and women with that something of the eternal which the halo used to symbolize, and which we seek to convey by the actual radiance and vibration of our coloring.”

    Inscription

    Lower right, along chair: La Berceuse

    Provenance

    Probably passed from the artist to his brother, Theo van Gogh (b. 1857 - d. 1891), Paris; consigned by Theo van Gogh to Julien-François Tanguy (b. 1825 - d. 1894), Paris [see note 1]. 1905, purchased at the Salon des Indépendants, Paris, by Count Antoine de la Rochefoucauld, Paris [see note 2]; sold by the Count de la Rochefoucauld to Paul Rosenberg, Paris and New York; 1928, sold by Paul Rosenberg to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston; 1948, bequest of John Taylor Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948) Notes: [1] See J.-B. de la Faille, "The Works of Vincent van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings" (New York, 1970), p. 631, no. F508. In 1889, Theo van Gogh deposited a large group of his brother's paintings with Tanguy; whether this painting was among them has not been determined. [2] According to Paul Rosenberg (verbally, May 11, 1948; see note in MFA curatorial file), Rochefoucauld purchased the painting at the Salon des Indépendants around 1892 and subsequently sold it to Rosenberg. It is more likely that Rochefoucauld purchased it in 1905, when the painting was exhibited at the Retrospective Exhibition at the Salon des Indépendants, Paris (March 24 - May 30, 1905), no. 7.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    92.7 x 72.7 cm (36 1/2 x 28 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.548

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

    Collections

    Europe

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    Paintings

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  • Three Creole Women

    1929
    Marie Laurencin (French, 1885–1956)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Marie Laurencin / 1929

    Provenance

    1929, Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York; November 26, 1929, sold by Rosenberg to John Taylor Spaulding (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Boston, MA; 1948, bequest of Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Copyright

    © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

    Details

    Dimensions

    54 x 66 cm (21 1/4 x 26 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.569

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Young Women in Turkish Costume

    about 1862
    Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña (French, 1807–1876)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: N Diaz.

    Provenance

    By 1888, William Shaus, New York, NY; 1888, sold by William Shaus to Henry Graves, Orange, NJ; 1909, sold by Henry Graves at American Art Association, New York, lot 19. By 1930, Harriet J. White (Mrs. Frederick T.) Bradbury (d. 1930), Boston, MA; 1930, bequeathed by Harriet J. White Bradbury to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 3, 1930)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Harriet J. Bradbury

    Details

    Dimensions

    36.8 x 28.2 cm (14 1/2 x 11 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    30.501

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Les Vénitiennes (Venetian Women)

    1903–04
    Walter Richard Sickert (English, 1860–1942)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Sickert

    Provenance

    December 8, 1906, sold by the artist to Bernheim-Jeune, Paris (stock no. 15275); January 18, 1907, sold by Bernheim-Jeune to Mrs. Sarah Choate Sears (b. 1858 - d. 1935), Boston [see note 1]; by descent from Mrs. Sears to an anonymous donor; 1938, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 11, 1938) NOTES: [1] The dates of Bernheim Jeune's acquisition and sale of this painting are taken from Wendy Baron, Sickert: Paintings and Drawings (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 295, cat. no. 213, which clarifies that Mrs. Sears bought it through a Miss Swan.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    45.7 x 57.2 cm (18 x 22 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    38.776

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Street Singer

    about 1862
    Edouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)

    Description

    Manet was inspired by the sight of a woman with a guitar emerging from a sleazy café. She refused to pose for the picture, so Manet employed his favorite model of the 1860s, Victorine Meurent. The style and subject matter seemed crude to academic critics when the painting was exhibited in 1863. But Manet’s friend, the novelist and critic Emile Zola, admired its formal beauties and its apparent confrontation with real life.

    Inscription

    Lower left: ed. Manet

    Provenance

    1872, sold by the artist to Durand-Ruel, Paris; 1872, sold by Durand-Ruel to Ernest Hoschedé (b. 1837 - d. 1891), Paris [see note 1]; June 5-6, 1878, Hoschedé sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, lot 42, to Jean-Baptiste Faure (b. 1830 - d. 1914), Paris; about 1895, sold by Faure to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 2]; about 1899, sold by Durand-Ruel to Sarah Choate Sears (b. 1860 - d. 1935), Boston [see note 3]; 1935, by descent to her daughter, Helen Sears (Mrs. J. D. Cameron) Bradley (b. 1889 - d. 1966), Boston; 1966, bequest of Sarah Choate Sears to the MFA. (Accession Date: May 19, 1966) NOTES: [1] Ernest Hoschedé, a Parisian department store magnate, was a friend and important patron of many of the Impressionists. His sale in 1878 was the result of bankruptcy. For the results of this sale, see Merete Bodelsen, "Early Impressionist Sales 1874-94 in the light of some unpublished 'procès verbaux,'" Burlington Magazine vol. 110, no. 783 (June, 1968), pp. 339-40. [2] Lionello Venturi, "Archives de l'Impressionisme: Lettres de Renoir, Monet, Pissaro, Sisley et autres. Mémoires de Paul Durand-Ruel. Documents" (Paris and New York, 1939), vol. 2, p. 191. [3] Paul Durand-Ruel recommended the painting to the Havemeyer family on February 3, 1899; they did not acquire it, and Mrs. Sears purchased it thereafter. See Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen et al., Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection (New York, 1993), p. 225.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Sarah Choate Sears in memory of her husband, Joshua Montgomery Sears

    Details

    Dimensions

    171.1 x 105.8 cm (67 3/8 x 41 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    66.304

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    The Beal Gallery (Gallery 251)

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    Europe

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  • Young Woman Resting in a Music Room

    Alfred Stevens (Belgian (worked in France), 1823–1906)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: AStevens (A and S in monogram)

    Provenance

    By 1920s, Lucerne Fine Art Co., Ltd., Lucerne; 1920s, sold by Lucerne Fine Art Co. to Rowland Burdon-Muller, Boston, Cambridge, Thomasville, GA, and Lucerne; 1970, sold by Burdon-Muller to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 11, 1970)

    Credit Line

    Abbott Lawrence Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    40 x 61.2 cm (15 3/4 x 24 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1970.76

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Priscilla

    about 1873
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Center left: WMH [monogram]

    Provenance

    About 1873, the artist; by 1879, Thomas Wigglesworth (1814-1907); 1907, by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott) Fitz (1847-1929), Boston; 1929, by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (1873-1950), Boston; 1950, by inheritance to his wife, Mary Stacy Beaman Holmes (1875-1964); 1965, bequest of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 14, 1965)

    Credit Line

    Edward Jackson Holmes Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.28 x 38.73 cm (24 1/8 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    65.432

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Lorraine and Alan Bressler Gallery (Gallery 222)

    Collections

    Americas

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  • La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume)

    1876
    Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)

    Description

    Monet exhibited this work at the second group show of the Impressionist painters in 1876, where it attracted much attention. Large-scale figure paintings had traditionally been considered the most significant challenge for an artist. Using this format, Monet created a virtuoso display of brilliant color that is also a witty comment on the current Paris fad for all things Japanese. The woman shown wrapped in a splendid kimono and surrounded by fans is Monet’s wife, Camille, wearing a blond wig to emphasize her Western identity.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Claude Monet 1876

    Provenance

    April 14, 1876, Monet and Ernest Hoschedé sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 37 [see note 1]. April 19, 1877, anonymous ("L.") sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, lot 48, to Constantin de Rasty (d. 1923), Paris; 1918, sold by Rasty to Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris and New York [see note 2]; 1920, sold by Rosenberg to Philip Lehman (b. 1861 - d. 1947), New York [see note 3]; 1921, sold by Lehman to Duveen Brothers, Inc., London [see note 4]; 1937, shipped from Duveen, London to Duveen, New York; 1956, sold by Duveen to the MFA for $45,000. (Accession Date: March 8, 1956) NOTES: [1] Traditionally referred to as Monet's sale, the auction was organized by Ernest Hoschedé (b. 1837 - d. 1891) and included several works belonging to him, leading Hélène Adhemar ("Ernest Hoschedé," in Aspects of Monet: A Symposium on the Artist's Life and Times, ed. John Rewald and Frances Weitzenhoffer [New York: Abrams, 1984], p. 61) to suggest it was a joint sale and Hoschedé "was without a doubt in possession of the Monet paintings" ("il était sans doute en possession des tableaux de Monet"). When the painting was acquired, Edward Fowles of Duveen Brothers stated that "it was originally in the collection of a Mr. Hoschede" (letter to W. G. Constable, MFA, February 16, 1956). [2] René Gimpel noted on August 10, 1918, that the dealer Georges Bernheim informed him that "Rosenberg has bought a life-size Monet, a Japanese woman." See his "Diary of an Art Dealer", trans. John Rosenberg (New York, 1966), p. 55; also pp. 59 (August 19) and 67 (October 29). Monet himself wrote to Rosenberg about the painting (August 6, 1918, copy of letter in curatorial file). [3] In the brief notice "New Monet for New York," American Art News XVIII, no. 18 (February 21, 1920): p. 1, the painting is said to have "recently been purchased by a New York collector." Edward Fowles (as above, n. 1) stated that "Philip Lehman purchased it from Paul Rosenberg." [4] According to a memo from the London office to the Paris office of Duveen Brothers (December 31, 1926, Duveen Brothers Records, Getty Research Institute, Box 267, folder 24). The official sale date is given, in a memo to the New York branch of the gallery (December 13, 1937), as January 1, 1922.

    Credit Line

    1951 Purchase Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    231.8 x 142.3 cm (91 1/4 x 56 in.)

    Accession Number

    56.147

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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    Europe

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  • Susan Apthorp (Mrs. Thomas Bulfinch)

    1757
    Joseph Blackburn (American (born in England), active in North America 1753–1763)

    Description

    Inscription

    Center left, on plinth: I. Blackburn Pinxit 1757

    Provenance

    1757, the Apthorp family; by descent to the daughter of the sitter, Elizabeth Bulfinch (Mrs. Joseph) Coolidge (1777-1837); 1837, by descent to her daughter, Elizabeth Boyer Coolidge (Mrs. Tasker Hazard) Swett (1797-1880); 1880, by descent to her son Joseph Coolidge Swett (1829-1887); 1887, by descent to his son, John Templeman Coolidge (1856-1945), Boston; 1945, gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Templeton Coolidge to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 14, 1945)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Templeman Coolidge

    Details

    Dimensions

    127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in.)

    Accession Number

    45.517

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)

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    Americas

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  • Mrs. Robert Restiaux Kent (Eliza F. Watson)

    about 1867
    William Rimmer (American (born in England), 1816–1879)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Restiaux Kent, the sitter and her husband; to Henry Watson Kent, New York, their son; Mrs. Richard B. Kent, 1948; to MFA, 1949, gift of Mrs. Richard B. Kent.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Richard B. Kent in the name of the late Henry Watson Kent

    Details

    Dimensions

    76.2 x 63.5 cm (30 x 25 in.)

    Accession Number

    49.27

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Victorine Meurent

    about 1862
    Edouard Manet (French, 1832–1883)

    Description

    Victorine Meurent was Manet’s favorite model in the 1860s, posing for Street Singer, also in the MFA’s collection, as well as for such other renowned works as Olympia and Luncheon on the Grass (both now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris). This portrait is thought to be Manet’s first painting of Victorine.

    Inscription

    Upper right: manet

    Provenance

    By 1901, William Burrell (b. 1861 - d. 1958), Glasgow; May 16, 1902, Burrell sale, Christie's, London, lot 146, not sold [see note 1]. By 1905 until at least 1906, Bernheim-Jeune, Paris [see note 2]. 1912, with Manzi, Joyant et Cie. (?) [see note 3]. By 1914 until at least 1925, Alphonse Kann (b. 1870 - d. 1948), Paris [see note 4]. Paul Rosenberg et Cie., Paris [see note 5]. By 1931, Robert Treat Paine II (b. 1861 - d. 1943), Boston; by descent to his son, Richard C. Paine, Boston; 1946, gift of Richard C. Paine to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 12, 1946) NOTES: [1] William Burrell lent the painting to the Glasgow International Exhibition, 1901. The information about the Burrell sale comes from a letter from Christie's, London (May 14, 1975; in MFA curatorial file). It has been conjectured that he purchased the painting from the Glasgow art dealer Alexander Reid; see Douglas Cooper, "The Courtauld Collection, a Catalogue and Introduction" (London, 1954), pp. 64-65. [2] A Bernheim-Jeune label dated 1906 is on the reverse of the painting. [3] It was included in the "Exposition d'art moderne," Manzi, Joyant et Cie., Paris, 1912, cat. no. 25. [4] Kann lent it to the exhibitions "Art Français: Exposition d'Art décoratif contemporain, 1800-1885" (Grosvenor House, London, 1914), cat. no. 36 and "Cinquante ans de Peinture Française" (Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris, 1925), cat. no. 41. [5] According to A. Tabarant, "Manet et ses oeuvres" (Paris, 1947), p. 58.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Richard C. Paine in memory of his father, Robert Treat Paine 2nd

    Details

    Dimensions

    42.9 x 43.8 cm (16 7/8 x 17 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    46.846

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Polly B. and Richard D. Hill Gallery (Gallery 253)

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    Europe

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  • Portrait of a Young Woman as Flora

    1633
    Paulus Moreelse (Dutch, 1571–1638)

    Description

    This image of a young woman in arcadian dress reflects the fashion for pastoral themes that arose in the Netherlands following the appearance of P.C. Hooft’s play Granida (1605). Moreelse, who was active in Utrecht, was among the earliest Dutch artists to depict such themes.

    Inscription

    Upper right: P M (monogram) / 1633

    Provenance

    Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell, Ltd., London [see note 1]. By 1900, purchased in Rome by Delia Spencer (Mrs. Marshall) Field (b. 1854 - d. 1937), Paris and Washington, D.C. [see note 2]; by inheritance to her niece, Catherine Spencer (Mrs. Albert J.) Beveridge, Beverly Farms, MA; 1946, gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 13, 1946) NOTES: [1] C. H. de Jonge, Paulus Moreelse: Portret en Genreschilder te Utrecht, 1571-1638 (Uitgevers, 1938), p. 122, cat. no. 283. [2] According to information provided by Mrs. Beveridge to the MFA (August 15, 1946), a painting of Mrs. Field's Paris apartment, done in 1900 by Walter Gay, shows that this painting was in her possession by that time. According to an earlier letter from Mrs. Beveridge (May 31, 1946) the painting was included in an inventory of Mrs. Spencer's Washington home in 1913, in which it was said to have been bought in Rome.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge in memory of Delia Spencer Field

    Details

    Dimensions

    74.3 x 59.4 cm (29 1/4 x 23 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    46.559

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Mrs. Robert C. Winthrop (Frances Pickering Adams)

    1861
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: WMHunt./1861 [WMH in monogram]

    Provenance

    The artist; Miss Clara Bowdoin Winthrop; to MFA, 1924, gift of Miss Clara Bowdoin Winthrop.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Clara Bowdoin Winthrop

    Details

    Dimensions

    117.16 x 89.53 cm (46 1/8 x 35 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    24.339

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Olivia Buckminster Lothrop (Mrs. Lewis William Tappan, Jr.)

    mid–1860s
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    William Morris Hunt was mid-nineteenth century Boston’s leading painter, highly admired for his work, his teaching, and the astute advice about purchases he gave to the city’s collectors. He was born in Vermont, attended Harvard University, and joined his family on an extended trip to Europe in 1843. Cosmopolitan by nature, Hunt traveled for a number of years, studying art in Italy, Germany, and France. He worked with the French Realist painter Thomas Couture, whom he especially admired for his method of painting directly on canvas, without careful preparations in pencil. Hunt brought that spontaneity to his own art, preferring to capture nuances of light and atmosphere without finicky detail. He exhibited at the Paris Salon in the 1850s and became a close friend of the leading painter of the French Barbizon School, Jean-François Millet, who made heroic images of peasant life. The two artists worked together, and when Hunt returned to the United States in 1855 he encouraged Bostonians to buy Millet’s work. He also reinterpreted Millet’s rural subjects with an American vocabulary, using the rustic landscapes of Newport and Gloucester as Millet had employed the fields of Barbizon.

    Hunt also brought French sophistication to his many images of well-to-do Bostonians. Portraiture remained an important source of income for most American painters after the Civil War, and portraits by well-known artists continued to serve as status symbols in American society. Olivia Lothrop was in her twenties when she sat for this painting. The daughter of Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, Unitarian minister of the Brattle Street Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his first wife Mary Lyman Buckminster Lothrop, Olivia was raised in an intellectual and spiritual household. In 1870 she married Lewis W. Tappan, a Harvard graduate and grandson of the famous abolitionist. Tappan, who had served as U.S. consul to Java during the 1860s, was a businessman and philanthropist with an estate in Milton, Massachusetts; the couple had three children but lost two of them before Olivia herself died in 1878 at the age of thirty-seven.

    For her portrait, Lothrop stood demurely before a neutral background in a stylish copper silk dress. The dark setting and subtle colors help to focus attention on the sitter and are typical of Hunt’s sophisticated approach to portraiture. He selected an elegant stance for his model, turning her to the side to feature the elegant contour of her corseted waist and full skirt. Such poses were popular with aristocratic sitters in European capitals following the example of Franz-Xavier Winterhalter, court painter of the French Second Empire. In Hunt’s portrait Lothrop turns her head to face the viewer, and her serious expression, combined with her golden tiara, give the effect of royalty.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Provenance

    The artist; Lothrop family; descended to Olivia Buckminster Tappan (Mrs. Ellerton) James, daughter of the sitter; to MFA, 1927, gift of Mrs. Ellerton James.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Ellerton James

    Details

    Dimensions

    158.8 x 84.5 cm (62 1/2 x 33 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    27.457

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Meditation

    about 1872
    Alfred Stevens (Belgian (worked in France), 1823–1906)

    Description

    Provenance

    Acquired by Clara Bertram Kimball, Boston; by inheritance to her husband, David P. Kimball (d. 1923), Boston [see note 1]; 1923, bequest of David P. Kimball to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1923) NOTES: [1] In 1923 David P. Kimball bequeathed forty paintings to the MFA in memory of his wife, Clara Bertram Kimball. He noted in his will that these were "from the collection made by her and bequeathed to me."

    Credit Line

    Bequest of David P. Kimball in memory of his wife Clara Bertram Kimball

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.7 x 32.4 cm (16 x 12 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.528

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Japan, January 2, 2015 – May 10, 2015

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  • Infanta Maria Theresa

    1653
    Workshop of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Spanish, 1599–1660)

    Description

    This painting is probably one of three portraits sent to potential suitors of Maria Theresa, the daughter of Spain’s King Philip IV and ultimately the wife of Louis XIV of France. In portraying the royal family, Velázquez generally painted a bust-length portrait from life, which he and his assistants would use as a model in creating full-length versions. The freshness of the colors and brushwork in this painting stress the desirability of the fifteen-year-old princess, and suggest that Velázquez was closely associated with its production.

    Provenance

    1653, probably Leopold William (b. 1614 - d. 1662), Archduke of Austria, Brussels and Vienna [see note 1]; 1662, probably by inheritance to Leopold I (b. 1640 - d. 1705), Holy Roman Emperor, Vienna; passed into the Imperial Art Collection, Vienna, which became the Kunsthistorisches Museum (inv. no. 618); 1921, exchanged by the Kunsthistorisches Museum with Hans von Pereira-Arnstein, Vienna; 1921, sold by Pereira-Arnstein to the MFA for $40,000. (Accession Date: December 13, 1921) NOTES: [1] Maria Theresa (b. 1638 - d. 1683) was the daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, to whom Velázquez was the court painter. The king commissioned three portraits of his daughter to be sent to potential suitors. On December 17, 1653, Giacomo Querini, minster of the Venetian Republic at Madrid, reported that portraits of the princess had already been sent to Emperor Ferdinand III in Vienna and Archduke Leopold William in Brussels. It is generally accepted that the MFA portrait was the one sent to Archduke Leopold and that the portrait of Maria Theresa at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, was the one sent to Emperor Ferdinand. See Heinrich Zimmerman, "Zur Ikonographie des Hauses Habsburg," Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 25, no. 4 (1905): 185-190 and Walter W. S. Cook, "Spanish and French Paintings in the Lehman Collection," Art Bulletin 7 (1924): 57-59. A third portrait was sent to Louis XIV, whom the Infanta married in 1660; this is at the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Charlotte Nichols Greene in memory of her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Nichols

    Details

    Dimensions

    128.6 x 100.6 cm (50 5/8 x 39 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.2593

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

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  • The Attentive Listener

    1879
    Alfred Stevens (Belgian (worked in France), 1823–1906)

    Description

    Signed

    Upper right: AStevens. 1879.

    Provenance

    Possibly with Hazleton. By 1911, Henry C. Angell, (d. 1911), Boston, MA; 1911, by inheritance to Martha B. Angell, Boston, MA (d. 1919); 1919, bequest of Marth B. Angell. (Accession date: March 20, 1919)

    Credit Line

    The Henry C. and Martha B. Angell Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 52.2 x 30 cm (20 9/16 x 11 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    19.111

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Head of a Woman in Profile

    about 1855–60
    Thomas Couture (French, 1815–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: T.C.

    Provenance

    1876, possibly John Taylor Johnston (b. 1820 - d. 1893), New York; December 19-22, 1876, possibly in the Johnston sale, American Art Association, New York, lot 35, sold for $1000 [see note 1]. 1882 or 1883, J. Eastman Chase, Boston; February 6, 1882 or 1883, sold by Chase to Peter Chardon Brooks, III (b. 1831 - d. 1920), Boston; by descent to his daughter, Eleanor Brooks (Mrs. Richard M.) Saltonstall (b. about 1867), Boston; 1920, gift of Mrs. Richard M. Saltonstall to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 21, 1920) NOTES: [1] The provenance of this painting was provided in a letter from Mrs. F. H. Blackman, secretary of Mrs. Richard M. Saltonstall, to Charles Cunningham of the MFA (March 10, 1941), and has not been verified. Lot 35 in the Johnston sale was described as "female head" and measured 19 x 16 inches (the MFA painting measures about 22 x 18 inches).

    Credit Line

    Peter Chardon Brooks Memorial Collection; Gift of Mrs. Richard M. Saltonstall

    Details

    Dimensions

    55.9 x 46.3 cm (22 x 18 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.594

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Martha Dana (later Mrs. William Mercer)

    1899
    Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920)

    Description

    Zorn painted this portrait of Martha Dana (1872–1960) at the Back Bay home of Boston art collector and personality Isabella Stewart Gardner, who arranged a number of commissioned portraits on the artist’s behalf. The artist captures the youth and vivacity of this modern beauty with quick, loose brushstrokes and vibrant accents of color. In her later years, Dana would become a prominent benefactor to local arts institutions, including the MFA.

    Inscription

    Upper right: Zorn 99

    Provenance

    1899, Martha Dana (later Mrs. William Robert Mercer; b. 1872 - d. 1960), Boston (original commission); 1928, gift of Martha Dana Mercer to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 4, 1928)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. William R. Mercer

    Details

    Dimensions

    68.6 x 50.8 cm (27 x 20 in.)

    Accession Number

    28.513

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Corridor at Foot of Fenway Staircase ( 149)

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  • Mary Sears (later Mrs. Francis Shaw)

    1878
    Joseph Florentin Léon Bonnat (French, 1833–1922)

    Description

    The Sears and Shaw families were very prominent in the Boston area and were important patrons of the Museum of Fine Arts. Painted in Paris in 1878, this portrait was shown at the Paris Salon the following year. Bonnat was internationally acclaimed for his portraits, and he considered this to be one of his best.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Ln. Bonnat / 1878

    Provenance

    1878, Knyvet Winthrop Sears (b. 1832) and his wife, Mary Peabody Sears (b. 1836), Boston (original commission) [see note 1]; by inheritance to their daughter, Clara Endicott Sears (b. 1863 - d. 1960), Boston; 1930, gift of Miss Clara Endicott Sears to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 4, 1930) NOTES: [1] They were the parents of the sitter. According to information provided by the donor, Clara Endicott Sears (sister of the sitter), this portrait was painted in Bonnat's studio in Paris. Notes in the curatorial file indicate that it was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1879 (no. 341, as "Miss M. S.").

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Clara Endicott Sears

    Details

    Dimensions

    126.4 x 75 cm (49 3/4 x 29 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    30.766

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Corridor at Foot of Fenway Staircase ( 149)

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  • Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair

    about 1877
    Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)

    Description

    Cézanne’s wife, Hortense Fiquet, was his most frequent model—he painted nearly thirty portraits of her. Posing for Cézanne demanded great patience, for he was a slow and painstaking worker and always required the presence of the model. This early portrait has a serene monumentality, its many small blocks of subtly varied color locked into a harmonious whole. In one of his most frequently quoted statements, Cézanne said, “I want to make of Impressionism an art as solid as that of the museums.”

    Provenance

    Ambroise Vollard (b. 1867 - d. 1939), Paris [see note 1]; by 1907, probably sold by Vollard to Egisto Fabbri (b. 1866 - d. 1933), Florence [see note 2]; 1928, sold by Fabbri to Georges Wildenstein and Paul Rosenberg and Co., Paris (stock no. 2265) [see note 3]. By 1930, Robert Treat Paine II (b. 1861 - d. 1943), Boston [see note 4]; 1944, bequest of Robert Treat Paine II to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 9, 1944) NOTES: [1] Vollard archives, no. 231. See John Rewald, "The Paintings of Paul Cézanne: A Catalogue Raisonné" (New York, 1996), vol. 1, cat. no. 324, pp. 219-220. [2] Egisto Fabbri was one of the first collectors to purchase the works of Cézanne through Vollard. According to notes in the curatorial file, Fabbri lent this painting to the Salon d'Automne, Paris, in 1907. Also see Lucien Henraux, "I Cezanne della Raccolta Fabbri," Dedalo 1 (1920): 53-58 and ibid., "Une grande collection de Cézanne en Italie: La Collection Egisto Fabbri," L'Amour de l'Art November 1924, p. 331, fig. 6216. [3] Fabbri sold thirteen of his Cézanne paintings to the dealers Georges Wildenstein and Paul Rosenberg of Paris. A document of November 15, 1928, confirms their receipt by intermediary Tammaro De Marinis, who oversaw their transport out of Italy. See Francesca Bardazzi, Cézanne in Florence: Two collectors and the 1910 exhibition of Impressionism (exh. cat. Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March 2 - July 29, 2007), 25-26, 278, doc. 11. [4] Mr. Paine first lent this painting to the MFA in 1930.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Robert Treat Paine, 2nd

    Details

    Dimensions

    72.4 x 55.9 cm (28 1/2 x 22 in.)

    Accession Number

    44.776

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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  • Peasant Girl Catching a Flea

    about 1715
    Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (Italian (Venetian), 1682–1754)

    Description

    The son of a woodcarver, Piazzetta created a strong sense of sculptural form by modelling his figures with light and shadow. Although he also painted altarpieces, the artist is best known for naturalistic images of ordinary life that are characterized by a dignified, sympathetic portrayal of his subjects, often peasants.

    Provenance

    1929, art market, Venice; 1929, purchased in Venice by Sir Horace George Montagu Rumbold (b. 1869 - d. 1941), 9th Bart., Berlin [see note 1]; by inhertance to his son, Sir Horace Anthony Claude Rumbold (b. 1911 - d. 1983), 10th Bart., London [see note 2]; October 26, 1945, Rumbold sale, Christie's, London, lot 634 [see note 3], to David M. Koetser Gallery, London and New York; 1946, sold by Koetser to the MFA for $5700. (Accession Date: June 13, 1946) NOTES: [1] Rumbold was the British ambassador serving in Berlin from 1928 - 1933. [2] A letter from SIr Horace Anthony Claude Rumbold to W. G. Constable of the MFA (November 15, 1946) says that "My father bought them [MFA 46.461 and 46.462] from a dealer in Venice in, I think, the summer of 1929. They were then in our Embassy in Berlin until 1933.... After 1933 they were at the Grosvenor Current in London until the war when they were stored and eventually sold at Christie's." [3] Sold as one of a pair along with MFA no. 46.462

    Credit Line

    Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    74.6 x 96.5 cm (29 3/8 x 38 in.)

    Accession Number

    46.461

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery (Gallery 246)

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  • Woman with a Taper

    1873
    Jules Breton (French, 1827–1906)

    Description

    Early in his artistic career, which began only around 1879, van Gogh revered the artist Jules Breton, famous for his meticulously crafted scenes of rural life. In 1880, the young painter set out from the Netherlands on an arduous walking tour to northern France - to the town of Courrières, where Breton lived. Although he located Breton’s studio in the town, “I dared not introduce myself and go in,” he confessed to his brother.

    Inscription

    Lower left: Jules Breton / 1873

    Provenance

    January 22, 1874, acquired by Goupil et Cie., Paris (stock no. 8687); August 3, 1874, sold by Goupil to Mr. Williams, Boston (probably the dealers Williams and Everett) [see note 1]. By 1875, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 2]; by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott Fitz) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1941, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 13, 1941) NOTES: [1] As "Devotion." Getty Provenance Index, PI Record No. G-11852 (stock book 7, no. 8687, p. 111). The Goupil stock number is stencilled on the reverse of the painting. [2] This is probably the painting titled "Devotee" by Breton that Wigglesworth lent to the Fine Arts Exhibition, Boston Art Club, April 1875 (cat. no. 83).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes

    Details

    Dimensions

    54 x 40.0 cm (21 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.115

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Edith, Lady Playfair (Edith Russell)

    1884
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Upper left: John S. Sargent 1884

    Provenance

    1884, Edith, Lady Playfair (1848-1932), London; 1933, bequest of Edith, Lady Playfair to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 20, 1933)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Edith, Lady Playfair

    Details

    Dimensions

    152.08 x 98.42 cm (59 7/8 x 38 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    33.530

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery (Gallery 232)

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  • Mrs. James Warren (Mercy Otis)

    about 1763
    John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

    Description

    When Copley painted Mercy Otis Warren (1728–1814), at the age of about thirty-six or thirty-seven, she was a Plymouth, Massachusetts, housewife and mother of three sons (two more were to be born between 1764 and 1766); she would later make her name as one of the first chroniclers of the American Revolution and a dedicated campaigner for the patriot cause. Mercy’s upbringing was unusual for a woman in the colonies, for she was well educated—her parents, James and Mary Alleyne Otis (whose portraits, now in the Wichita Art Museum, Kansas, Copley had painted about 1760), had allowed her to attend her older brother’s lessons with a tutor as he prepared for Harvard. She had an unconventional marriage too: her husband, James Warren, a graduate of Harvard, a prosperous merchant and farmer, and an ardent patriot, also encouraged her intellectual pursuits.

    Mercy Otis Warren began writing poetry in about 1759, five years after her marriage, but it was not until 1772 and the pseudonymous publication of her satiric drama The Adulateur in the Massachusetts Spy that her work reached the public. Over the next several decades she would pen a series of plays and parodies mocking Governor Thomas Hutchinson and other Loyalists, essays on political issues, and a volume of poems and dramas written in defense of human liberty and dedicated to George Washington. In 1805 she published her three-volume History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, which she had begun in the late 1770s and which, unlike most of her earlier efforts, appeared under her own name.

    In Copley’s image, Mercy Warren does not allude to her budding literary ambitions but rather enacts prescribed feminine roles. Her portrait offers a graceful complement to that of her husband [31.211]. Their heads are turned toward each other, and she is slightly lower in the picture plane than he. Her body is in profile, and she is dressed in a most fashionable blue satin sacque dress trimmed with ruched silk and silver braid, with a lace stole and lace ruffles at her sleeve. Both the Warrens are portrayed as cultivators: he, the gentleman farmer, stands foursquare on his property; she fingers her nasturtium vines, plants that were valued as food and for their bright, colorful blossoms.

    Copley first portrayed Mercy Otis Warren with roses—their ghosts can still be seen beneath the green nasturtium leaves—flowers that were more appropriate for cutting and arranging than nasturtiums. X-rays of the portrait suggest the possibility that Mrs. Warren originally stood before a masonry wall. The revisions in the setting allied Warren more directly with the world of nature; the flowers she tends, but does not cut, are a trope for her role within the family as nurturer of children. Like the cultivation of flowers, the training of children was the responsibility of women. Flowers were emblems of fertility—appropriate to Mercy Warren, who gave birth to sons both the year before and the year after she sat for Copley—but they were also tokens of the fragility of life and may have been meant to recall Warren’s beloved sister Mary (Mrs. John Gray, about 1763, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston), who died the year this portrait was painted. Nasturtiums were also symbolic of patriotism and thus a prophetic choice of flower for this sitter.

    Mercy Warren’s dress appears in two other portraits by Copley: Mrs. Benjamin Pickman (Mary Toppan) (1763, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut) and Mrs. Daniel Sargent (Mary Turner) (1763, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). Mrs. Pickman and Mrs. Sargent were much younger than Mercy Warren, and were painted at the time of their marriages. Art historian Margaretta Lovell has suggested that the expensive blue dress belonged to the Warrens and that they loaned the dress to Mrs. Pickman and Mrs. Sargent for the purpose of wearing it for their portraits, augmenting it with different trimmings but emphasizing family friendships and alliances. [1]The gown is cut low, and in the portraits of both young sitters, the pale skin of their chests is exposed in advertisement of their beauty. Mercy Warren’s costume, however, has been augmented with a lace stole, a modest touch appropriate to her age and status as matron. She looks directly at the viewer; the levelness of her gaze and the determined set of her mouth suggest (at least to the present-day observer with the luxury of hindsight) the side of her character that will within a decade venture forth from the realm of such acceptable feminine pursuits as gardening and child rearing into the masculine sphere of dramaturgy, political satire, and historical analysis.

    Notes
    1. Margaretta M. Lovell, “Mrs. Sargent, Mr. Copley, and the Empirical Eye,” Winterthur Portfolio 33, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 34.

    This text was adapted and expanded by Janet L. Comey from Carol Troyen’s entry in John Singleton Copley in America, by Carrie Rebora et al., exh. cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art in association with Harry N. Abrams, 1995).

    Provenance

    About 1763 the sitter, Mercy otis Warren (1728-1814). By 1873, descended in the Warren family to the great-grandson of the sitter, Winslow Warren, Dedham, Mass.; 1931, bequest of Winslow Warren to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 16, 1931)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Winslow Warren

    Details

    Dimensions

    126.05 x 100.33 cm (49 5/8 x 39 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    31.212

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)

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  • Emma Eames

    1889
    Julian Russell Story (American, 1857–1919)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Julian Story

    Provenance

    The artist; Matilda E. Freylinghuysen; to MFA, 1970; bequest of Matilda E. Freylinghuysen.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Matilda E. Frelinghuysen

    Details

    Dimensions

    128.9 x 163.83 cm (50 3/4 x 64 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1970.395

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The White Hat

    about 1780
    Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, 1725–1805)

    Description

    Although Greuze was commissioned to paint many portraits, it’s unlikely that this painting depicts an actual person. The young woman, who appears at once innocent and seductive, is probably the product of the artist’s imagination. Greuze has dressed her in the more natural, déshabillé (“undressed”) fashion that was en vogue at the time. Queen Marie Antoinette began wearing white muslin dresses that did not require structural undergarments in the 1780s and after some initial scandal, this style became very popular.

    Provenance

    Thomas Dowse (b. 1772 - d. 1856), Cambridge, MA; bequeathed by Dowse to the Boston Athenaeum; 1975, sold by the Boston Athenaeum to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 10, 1976)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Jessie H. Wilkinson—Jessie H. Wilkinson Fund, Grant Walker Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, and Abbott Lawrence Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 56.8 x 46.4cm (22 3/8 x 18 1/4in.) Framed: 69.9 x 59.7 x 6.4 cm (27 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1975.808

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Ann and William Elfers Gallery (Gallery 245)

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  • The Lamp

    about 1891
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Trial proof D.

    Inscription

    Recto: in graphite, lower left corner: D (in script); in graphite, lower right, under plate: Imprimé par l'artiste et M LeRoy/ Mary Cassatt/ (25 épreuves)

    Signed

    Signed

    Markings

    Recto: in blue ink, lower center, inside plate: collector's stamp of Mary Cassatt (Lugt 604)

    Provenance

    Jean Goriany, from whom purchased by MFA Nov. 13, 1941

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Emerson and The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 144, iii/iii; Mathews & Shapiro 06, proof of iv/iv

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 32.3 x 25.2 cm (12 11/16 x 9 15/16 in.) Sheet: 41.7 x 31.7 cm (16 7/16 x 12 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.812

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint, soft ground etching and aquatint in color

    Not On View

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  • "Call and I follow----let me die"

    Julia Margaret Cameron (English, 1815–1879)

    Description

    Provenance

    Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley, Southboro, MA; gift to MFA June 1942.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. J. D. Cameron Bradley

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image/Sheet: 35.4 x 26.5 cm (13 15/16 x 10 7/16 in.) Mount: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    42.352

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, carbon print (printed later)

    Not On View

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  • Afternoon Tea Party

    about 1891
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Trial Proof F

    Inscription

    Recto: in graphite, lower left below plate: MC; in graphite, lower center: F

    Signed

    Initialed

    Provenance

    1941, sold by Jean Goriany, New York, to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 13, 1941)

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Emerson and The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 151 (state not in Breeskin); Mathews & Shapiro 13, trial proof F of v/v

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 48.4 x 31.7 cm (19 1/16 x 12 1/2 in.) Platemark: 34.8 x 26.8 cm (13 11/16 x 10 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.811

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint and color aquatint

    Not On View

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  • Woman Bathing

    The Toilette

    about 1891
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Trial proof G

    Inscription

    Recto: in graphite, lower left corner: H- (in script); in graphite, lower left, below plate: M.C

    Signed

    Initialed

    Provenance

    Jean Goriany, from whom purchased by MFA Nov. 13, 1941

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Emerson and The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 148, iii/v; Mathews & Shapiro 10, iv/iv

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 36.2 x 26.7 cm (14 1/4 x 10 1/2 in.) Sheet: 43.7 x 30.1 cm (17 3/16 x 11 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.810

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint, aquatint and soft-ground etching in color

    Not On View

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  • The Letter

    1890–91
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Trial proof B

    Inscription

    In graphite, lower left: MC; in graphite, lower right corner: B

    Signed

    Initialed

    Provenance

    Jean Goriany, from whom purchased by MFA Nov. 13, 1941

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Emerson and The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 146, iii/iii; Mathews & Shapiro 08, trial proof B of iv/iv

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 34.6 x 22.5 cm (13 5/8 x 8 7/8 in.) Sheet: 47.8 x 30.7 cm (18 13/16 x 12 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.803

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint and color aquatint

    Not On View

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  • The Coiffure

    about 1891
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Recto: in graphite, lower left corner: II.; in graphite, lower left below plate: M. C

    Signed

    Initialed

    Provenance

    Jean Goriany, from whom purchased by MFA Nov. 13, 1941

    Credit Line

    Gift of William Emerson and The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 152 (state not in Breeskin); Mathews & Shapiro 14, iv/v (only known impression)

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 36.5 x 26.2 cm (14 3/8 x 10 5/16 in.) Sheet: 48 x 30.5 cm (18 7/8 x 12 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.807

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint and color aquatint

    Not On View

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  • Portrait of a Smiling Girl with Mayflowers

    1863–1903
    James Wells Champney (American, 1843–1903)

    Description

    Girl in pink short-sleeved dress seated in black chair, holding flowers in right hand. Body in profile, turning to face viewer.

    Provenance

    Maxim Karolik, Newport; Gift to MFA November 13, 1958

    Credit Line

    Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Watercolors and Drawings, 1800–1875

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Not in Karolik (1962) cat.

    Dimensions

    Sheet (sight): 56.8 x 45.7 cm (22 3/8 x 18 in.) Framed: 64.8 x 53.3 cm (25 1/2 x 21 in.)

    Accession Number

    58.1088

    Medium or Technique

    Pastel on paper

    Not On View

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    Pastels

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  • Tea

    1890
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Recto: in graphite, center, below plate: To M. Frederick Keppel with compliments and regards / Mary Cassatt

    Signed

    Signed

    Markings

    Recto: in black ink, lower left corner: collector's stamp of Frederick Keppel (Lugt 1023)

    Provenance

    PDP Register entry: Date acquired, 3/1/1914 [exact to month]

    Credit Line

    Keppel Memorial Prints. Gift of David Keppel

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Breeskin 133, v/v

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 18 x 15.6 cm (7 1/16 x 6 1/8 in.) Sheet: 32.5 x 20.6 cm (12 13/16 x 8 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    M25007

    Medium or Technique

    Drypoint on laid paper

    Not On View

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  • Woman Combing her Hair in Front of a Mirror

    鏡に向かって髪を整える女

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    1905
    Wada Eisaku (Japanese, 1874–1959), Distributed by Hakubunkan (Japanese), Publisher Japanese Postcard Association (Nihon hagaki kai) (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1358

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink on card stock

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Postcards

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  • Woman Writing a Letter

    手紙を書く女

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    Wada Eisaku (Japanese, 1874–1959), Distributed by Hakubunkan (Japanese), Japanese Postcard Association (Nihon hagaki kai) (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Ex. Jaeger Collection Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1359

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink on card stock

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Postcards

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  • Woman with Loose Hair Holding an Uchiwa

    団扇

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    Wada Eisaku (Japanese, 1874–1959)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1357

    Medium or Technique

    Color woodblock; organic and inorganic colorants on Japanese paper adhered to card stock

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Postcards

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  • La Dame aux Camelias/ Sarah Bernhardt/ Theatre de la Renaissance

    1896
    Alphonse Maria Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939)

    Description

    Provenance

    Charles Sumner Bird (East Walpole, MA); his gift to MFA, 10 November 1970.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. Charles Sumner Bird

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 209.6 x 76.2 cm (82 1/2 x 30 in.) Framed: 216.5 x 84.5 x 3.8 cm (85 1/4 x 33 1/4 x 1 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1970.514

    Medium or Technique

    Poster, lithograph printed in five colors on two sheets of paper

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints, Posters

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  • Goni Fair: In Commemoration of the Triumph

    五二共進会:凱旋記念

    Japanese
    Late Meiji era
    1906
    Artist Unknown, Japanese, Publisher Goni Fair Association (Goni kyoshinkai), Distributed by Shôseidô (Japanese)

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1595

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on card stock

    Not On View

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    Asia, Prints and Drawings

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    Postcards

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  • A Lady with Black Gloves powdering her Face

    mid-19th to early 20th century
    Jules Chéret (French, 1836–1932)

    Description

    Provenance

    William G. Russell Allen (1882-1955, Boston); acquired October 1938

    Credit Line

    Gift of W. G. Russell Allen

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 59.3 x 42.6 cm (23 3/8 x 16 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    38.1506

    Medium or Technique

    Colored crayon and India ink over graphite pencil on tan wove paper

    Not On View

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  • Cinderella

    1863
    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (English, 1833–1898)

    Description

    Provenance

    A.E. Street, London; with Scottand Fowles, New York; acquired by MFA, October 18, 1932.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour (1833-1914)

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet (sight): 65.7 x 30.4 cm (25 7/8 x 11 15/16 in.) Framed: 65.7 x 30.5 cm (25 7/8 x 12 in.)

    Accession Number

    32.409

    Medium or Technique

    Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper

    Not On View

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  • Duchessa di Montejasi with Her Daughters, Elena and Camilla

    about 1876
    Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917)

    Place of Origin

    Description

    Stéphanie Primicile Carafa, Marchesa di Cicerale and Duchessa di Montejasi, was the sister of Degas’s father. Their father, a Frenchman who fled to Naples during the French Revolution, eventually established a banking house there. This is the last of Degas’s great family portraits. It is also among the most surprising. The portrayal of the artist’s Aunt Fanny is without flattery, delicately balanced between austerity and empathy. Her frontal, static, focused image is contrasted with the lively bearing of her daughters, whose sense of movement is increased by the offhand way in which the artist painted, then wiped away, their portraits.

    Provenance

    Probably given by the artist to his aunt, Stéphanie De Gas Primicile-Carafa, Marquesa di Cicerale and Duchessa di Montejasi (b. 1819 - d. 1901), Naples [see note 1]. 1923, with Vincent Imberti (dealer), Bordeaux, France; 1923, sold by Imberti to David David-Weill (b. 1871 - d. 1952), Neuilly-sur-Seine, France; by descent to his grandchildren, Paris; 2003, sold by the descendants of David David-Weill to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 25, 2003) NOTES: [1] The provenance information given here (through 1923) comes from Jean Sutherland Boggs et al., "Degas" (exh. cat., Paris, Ottawa, and New York, 1988/1989), p. 254, cat. no. 146.

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund, a Gift of Mrs. Robert B. Osgood in memory of Horace D. Chapin, and a Gift in memory of Governor Alvan T. Fuller by the Fuller Foundation; and from the Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund, William Francis Warden Fund, Frank B. Bemis Fund, James E. Neill Memorial Fund, Fanny P. Mason Fund in memory of Alice Thevin, Mary S. and Edward Jackson Holmes Fund, Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund, Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund, Frederick L. Jack Fund, Seth K. Sweetser Fund, M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund, Harriet Otis Cruft Fund, Gift of Jessie H. Wilkinson—Jessie H. Wilkinson Fund, Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, Grant Walker Fund, Helen B. Sweeney Fund, and European Paintings Deaccession Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 66 x 97.8 cm (26 x 38 1/2 in.) Framed: 88.9 x 121.9 x 7.6 cm (35 x 48 x 3 in.)

    Accession Number

    2003.250

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)

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    Europe

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  • Simplon Pass: The Green Parasol

    about 1911
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: John S. Sargent

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 40.5 x 53.2 cm (15 15/16 x 20 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.212

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent and opaque watercolor, with wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • La Mélancolique

    1909
    Jules Pascin (American (born in Bulgaria, active in France), 1885–1930)

    Description

    Provenance

    Probably acquired directly from the artist by Lucy Krohg [see note 1]; until at least 1984, with her son, Guy Krohg (b. 1917), Paris [see note 2]. By 2001, Theodore Waddington Fine Arts, Ltd., exchanged by Waddington with Robert and Cheryl Fishko, Forum Gallery, New York; 2002, gift of Robert and Cheryl Fishko to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 26, 2002) NOTES: [1] Lucy Krohg, wife of the Norwegian artist Per Krohg, was Pascin's mistress. Upon his death in 1930, Pascin left his entire body of work to her and to his wife, Hermine David. Lucy Krogh opened the Galerie Lucy Krohg in Paris in 1932, and exhibited Pascin's work there.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Robert and Cheryl Fishko

    Details

    Dimensions

    71.1 x 58.4 cm (28 x 23 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.156

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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  • Ophelia

    1926
    Arthur Prince Spear (American, 1879–1959 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Arthur Spear.; Reverse: OPHELIA 800

    Provenance

    The artist; Mrs. H. Donald Norstrand, daughter of the artist; Matt B. Jones, Jr.,her son; to MFA, 1987, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Matt B. Jones, Jr.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Matt B. Jones, Jr.

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    66.04 x 81.6 cm (26 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1987.246

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Le Destin

    1896
    Henry Siddons Mowbray (American, 1858–1928 American)

    Description

    Although he would claim that during his first trip to Italy, “a fondness for the Italian Renaissance came over me,” Mowbray’s easel paintings reflect an orientation toward Italian art that is much tempered by French academic painting and British Pre-Raphaelitism. The decorative landscape and opalescent palette of “Le Destin” owe a debt to Puvis de Chavannes; the auburn-haired women with their aristocratic profiles and sumptuously patterned robes parallel the interpretations of late medieval and Renaissance culture painted by Rossetti and Burne-Jones (see Rossetti, “Bocca Baciata,” 1980.261). Also echoing the interests of the Pre-Raphaelite painters are a preference for antiquarian subjects and a taste for decorative details evoking the Renaissance (for example the conspicuously, if illogically, placed Corinthian columns, and the tabernacle frame, whose pattern recalls Venetian facade ornamentation).
    Mowbray’s presentation of the classical subject of the Fates is quite unorthodox. The Fates are usually shown as three women, not five; typically, they are old and ugly. They are often shown spinning; they would break the thread when a life was over. Instead, Mowbray shows three young women weaving a tapestry, presumably meant to signify the tapestry of life, depicting a medieval tournament or joust. The other two women have no clear identities. The standing figure at the right may have been intended to represent Fortuna, who is associated with the Fates in some accounts of the legend. She holds the golden threads from which the Fates weave the tapestry, while at left, a figure with scissors, whose role, presumably, is to snip the threads and so cut off life, consults a crystal globe. This unconventional illustration, with its mysterious subject, its iridescent, unnatural palette, and its figures at once alluring and forbidding, parallels the fin-de-siecle tendency in England and France toward sensational or at least self-consciously strange images of women.

    This text has been adapted from C. Troyen in T. Stebbins, et al., “The Lure of Italy: American Artists and the Italian Experience, 1760-1914,” exhibition catalogue, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1992.

    Inscription

    Lower right: H SIDDONS MOWBRAY

    Provenance

    The artist; J. F. Archbold; with Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York; to MFA, 1979, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Tompkins Collection—Arthur Gordon Tompkins Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.88 x 102.87 cm (29 7/8 x 40 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    1979.39

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Mrs. James Henry Lancashire (Sarah Hale Wright)

    about 1910
    Ignaz Marcel Gaugengigl (American (born in Germany), 1855–1932)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: I.M. GAUGENGIGL.

    Provenance

    The artist; Sarah White; to Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Southgate, about 1972; to MFA, 1983, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Southgate.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Southgate

    Details

    Dimensions

    141.29 x 98.11 cm (55 5/8 x 38 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1983.372

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Simplon Pass: Reading

    about 1911
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed u.l.: John S. Sargent

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 51 x 35.7 cm (20 1/16 x 14 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.214

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent and opaque watercolor, with wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • Simplon Pass: The Tease

    about 1911
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Place Depicted: Simplon Pass, Italian-Swiss border

    Description

    Inscription

    In iron gall ink, l.r.: John S. Sargent

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 40.2 x 52.9 cm (15 13/16 x 20 13/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.216

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent and opaque watercolor, with wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Butterfly (Costume Design for Anna Pavlova)

    1913
    Léon Nikolaievitch Bakst (Russian, 1866–1924)

    Description

    Provenance

    1914, gift of Mrs. John Munro Longyear and Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 2, 1914)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. John Munro Longyear and Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 28 x 45 cm (11 x 17 11/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    14.701

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque and transparent watercolor with graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Hindu Ballet, No. 2

    1913
    Léon Nikolaievitch Bakst (Russian, 1866–1924)

    Description

    Provenance

    Anna Pavlova (b. 1881 - d. 1931), London. Grace M. Edwards (d. 1938), Boston; 1939, bequest of Grace M. Edwards to the MFA [see note]. (Accession Date: October 11, 1939) NOTE: Siblings Robert (d. 1924), Hannah (d. 1929), and Grace (d. 1938) Edwards were each collectors of art, who seemed to have had joint ownership of the objects in their possession. When Robert died, he bequeathed his collection to the MFA in memory of their mother, Juliana Cheney Edwards. In 1925, after his death, part of his collection was acquired by the Museum, and the remainder went to his sisters, with the understanding that the objects would ultimately be left to the MFA in the collection begun in memory of their mother. The collections of Hannah and Grace were left to the MFA in 1939, following Grace's death. It is not always possible to determine exactly which works of art each sibling had owned.

    Credit Line

    Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 31.2 x 23.9 cm (12 5/16 x 9 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    39.645

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque and transparent watercolor, silver paint, and graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • Madame Bartet as Bérénice

    1913
    Léon Nikolaievitch Bakst (Russian, 1866–1924)

    Description

    Provenance

    1914, gift of Mrs. John Munro Longyear and Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 5, 1914)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. John Munro Longyear and Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 48.9 x 33.3 cm (19 1/4 x 13 1/8 in. )

    Accession Number

    14.403

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque and transparent watercolor, gold paint, and graphite pencil on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Cashmere Shawl

    1911
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Sargent’s niece, Rose-Marie Ormond

    Inscription

    In graphite, verso, center right: To be cut / as marked / on other side.

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 50.7 x 35.5 cm (19 15/16 x 14 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.227

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor and wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Garden Wall

    1910
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    Inscription

    In red watercolor, u.l.: John S. Sargent; in iron gall ink, u.r.: John S. Sargent

    Markings

    PDP Watermark Type: Fragmentary (Whatman?) watermark

    Provenance

    Purchased from the artist through M. Knoedler, New York, April 4, 1912

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 40.2 x 53 cm (15 13/16 x 20 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.222

    Medium or Technique

    Translucent and opaque watercolor, with wax resist, over graphite on paper

    Not On View

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  • The Open Window

    1921
    Elizabeth Vaughan Okie Paxton (American, 1877–1971)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; the Hunnewell family; descended in the family to Gertrude H. Donald; to MFA, 1997, bequest of Gertrude H. Donald.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Gertrude H. Donald

    Details

    Dimensions

    61.59 x 46.35 cm (24 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1997.173

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Harmony in Flesh Colour and Red

    about 1869
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American (active in England), 1834–1903)

    Description

    Inscription

    Center left: butterfly cartouche

    Provenance

    About 1869, the artist. April 8, 1929, sold by J. and W. Rosenheim & Co. at auction, Christie's, London, lot 105, as "Three Ladies in Red, on a terrace" to Neasson or Pearson. By 1930, Arthur Morrison (1863-1945), High Beech, Essex, England; March 20, 1946, sale, Sotheby's, lot 241, as "Symphony in Red" to Roland, Browse & Delbanco, London; 1946, sold by Roland, Browse & Delbanco to John Bryson (1896-1976), Oxford, England; 1960, consigned to Durlacher Brothers, New York; 1960, sold by John Bryson through Durlacher Brothers to the MFA for $12,000. (Accession Date: October 13, 1960)

    Credit Line

    Emily L. Ainsley Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    39.69 x 35.56 cm (15 5/8 x 14 in.)

    Accession Number

    60.1158

    Medium or Technique

    Oil and wax crayon on canvas

    On View

    Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

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  • Cornelia M. Walter (Mrs. William B. Richards)

    about 1850
    Thomas Ball (American, 1819–1911)

    Description

    Provenance

    The artist; the sitter; to William B. Richards, Boston, her husband; to Elise Bordman Richards, Boston; to MFA, 1912, gift of Elise Bordmad Richards.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Elise Bordman Richards

    Details

    Dimensions

    127.32 x 102.23 cm (50 1/8 x 40 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.424

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • The New Necklace

    1910
    William McGregor Paxton (American, 1869–1941)

    Description

    William McGregor Paxton first studied art with Dennis Miller Bunker [91.130] at the Cowles Art School in Boston, one of several independent academies that modeled themselves after the educational institutions of Paris. Paxton followed his teacher’s example and continued his training in France at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under the tutelage of one of the most famous French academicians, Jean-Léon Gérôme [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=Jean-L%C3%A9on%20G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me&objecttype=54]. There he perfected his technical knowledge of the human form and his preference for tightly painted, highly finished figure compositions. Upon his return to Boston, Paxton joined his older colleagues Edmund Tarbell [1985.66] and Frank Weston Benson [08.326] as an instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
    Like many of his Boston colleagues, Paxton found inspiration in the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Paxton was fascinated not only with Vermeer’s imagery, but also with the system of optics he employed. He studied Vermeer’s works closely, and discovered that only one area in his compositions was entirely in focus, while the rest were somewhat blurred. Paxton ascribed this peculiarity to “binocular vision,” crediting Vermeer with recording the slightly different point of view of each individual eye that combine in human sight. He began to employ this system in his own work, including The New Necklace, where only the gold beads are sharply defined while the rest of the objects in the composition have softer, blurrier edges.

    Paxton crafted his elaborate compositions with models in his studio, and the props he used, particularly the pink Chinese jacket, appear in several different paintings. Here he has implied a narrative, involving the discarded letter and the necklace. But Paxton allows each viewer to fashion his or her own story; he does not indicate whether the jewelry is a gift from an admirer or a purchase, or what the girl in green might advise her friend. In this way, he also emulates Vermeer, whose narratives are often ambiguous. Paxton enhanced his connection to Dutch art by including paintings within his painting and by selecting a hand-carved frame in a Dutch style for The New Necklace. His image, carefully composed and crafted, was meant to bring beauty and tradition to its lucky owner.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: PAXTON/1910

    Provenance

    1912, sold by the artist to Zoe Oliver Sherman, Boston; 1922, gift of Zoe Oliver Sherman to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 3, 1922)

    Credit Line

    Zoe Oliver Sherman Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    91.76 x 73.02 cm (36 1/8 x 28 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.644

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Joseph P. and Anne B. Pellegrino Gallery (Gallery 223)

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  • Mask of Queen Malakaye

    Nubian
    Napatan Period, reign of Tanwetamani
    664–653 B.C.

    Findspot: Nuri, Nubia (Sudan)

    Description

    Gilded silver mask of Queen Malakaye who wears a striated wig and broadcollar.

    Provenance

    From Nuri, pyramid 59 (tomb of Quen Malakaye). 1918: excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan. (Acession date: March 1, 1920)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13 x 11.5 x 3.9 cm (5 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 1 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    20.1059a

    Medium or Technique

    Gilt silver

    On View

    Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Family Foundation Gallery (Gallery 104)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Tomb equipment, Masks

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  • The Gleaner

    1865
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: WMHunt./1865. [WMH in monogram]

    Provenance

    1865, the artist. Before 1915, George Robert White (1847-1922), Boston; 1915, gift of George R. White to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 7, 1915)

    Credit Line

    Gift of George R. White

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.66 x 38.73 cm (21 1/8 x 15 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    15.1

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Study of a Young Woman's Head

    about 1895
    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (English, 1833–1898)

    Description

    Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite style, Burne-Jones presented idealized feminine beauty in his art. This work focuses on the beauty of the subject by depicting her profile against a diffused blue background. Her haunting, sensuous femininity is characteristic of the Pre-Raphaelite portrayal of women.

    Provenance

    July 16, 1898, posthumous Burne-Jones studio sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 60, to P. and D. Colnaghi, London (stock no. 896) [see note 1]; 1905, sold by Colnaghi to Robert Walcott, Boston; gift of Robert Walcott to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 19, 1905) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the curatorial file, a Colnaghi label on the reverse of the painting reads "Purchased by us on July 16, 1898 at Messrs. Christie, Manson, etc., lot 60A, sale of remaining works by Sir Edward Burne-Jones sold by order of his executors." The description of lot 60 in the catalogue reads "A study of a female head," and the lot number may therefore have been mistaken for "60A."

    Credit Line

    Gift of Robert Walcott

    Details

    Dimensions

    61 x 45.7 cm (24 x 18 in.)

    Accession Number

    05.105

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Girl Reading

    1909
    Edmund Charles Tarbell (American, 1862–1938)

    Description

    In a 1921 letter to MFA director Arthur Fairbanks, Tarbell wrote of Girl Reading: “I think it the best single figure I ever painted.”[1]Executed in 1909, the work illustrates Tarbell’s return to a figural style reminiscent of his early art training in both Boston and Paris, and serves as a pivotal work in his early-twentieth-century oeuvre. The smooth application of paint, muted tones, and soft, glowing light link the painting to works by close friends William Merritt Chase [2007.7] and Joseph DeCamp [33.532], and also recall the much-admired seventeenth-century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez [http://www.mfa.org/search/collections?artist=Diego%20Rodr%C3%ADguez%20de%20Silva%20y%20Vel%C3%A1zquez&objecttype=54], while the asymmetrical placement of objects and sitter suggests Tarbell’s interest in the format of Japanese prints.
    The natural light seeping in through the window at the extreme right seems almost holy, transforming the model into a kind of modern Madonna: “Natural daylight was one of the most sacred objects in Tarbell’s artistic religion.”[2]The painting’s quiet, contemplative subject and subtle harmonies of light and color also reveal Tarbell’s admiration for interiors by the seventeenth-century Dutch masters Johannes Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch [03.607]. Vermeer, in particular, had become increasingly popular with collectors and scholars alike; fellow Boston painter and Museum School teacher Philip Hale would publish the first American monograph on the artist in 1913. In it, Hale wrote: “Mr. Edmund C. Tarbell’s work shows such skill in design and technique that one instinctively thinks of Dutch art and of Vermeer in particular when seeing it,” adding, “Mr. Tarbell’s work shows the effect of the Impressionistic movement when grafted on good old Dutch stock.”[3]De Hooch’s influence on Tarbell’s interiors is perhaps even more notable than Vermeer’s; Tarbell himself remarked that setting was primary and story secondary for de Hooch, and he emulated frequently de Hooch’s use of doors opening into other rooms, figures silhouetted in passageways, and light streaming in from one area to another. [4] Tarbell’s admiration for Dutch art extended to his choice of frames, and he commissioned from the Boston firm Foster Brothers a hand-made one specifically for Girl Reading, decorated with geometric checkered and rippled patterns taken directly from old Dutch frames.

    Tarbell used light and atmosphere not to tell a story but to paint elegant subjects with technical precision, stating once that “art should try to render the beauty of the thing unseen.”[5]Boston School artists often painted women in graceful interiors, and some scholars have criticized their works as anti-modern and anti-feminist. [6]The sitter for Girl Reading, Charlotte West, is depicted, however, as a flesh-and-blood woman in a contemporary setting, dressed in modern clothing, and actively engaged in her book. West was one of Tarbell’s favorite models and one of the few who was not a family member. She also posed for his colleague, Museum School sculptor Bela Pratt [48.350], which sometimes created a conflict for the two artists. According to West’s letters, Pratt once chastised Tarbell for working their model too hard and insisted that she would be too tired to give Pratt the pristine look he sought. As a result of the sculptor’s proprietary attitude, West did not sit for Tarbell as often as he would have liked.[7]

    West could have posed for Girl Reading either in Boston or in New Castle, New Hampshire, where Tarbell’s family spent summers. West had made the short train trip from Boston to New Castle during September and October of 1907 to pose for Preparing for the Matinee (Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana). The stark setting for Girl Reading resembles the bare walls of the New Hampshire studio, visible in a 1907 photo of West and Tarbell at work on the Indianapolis painting. [8]Tarbell’s choice of studio props—the gate-leg table, ladder-back chair, and gilded round mirror—suggest his New England roots and illustrate his awareness of the current popularity of Colonial Revival furniture in home decorating. Tarbell may have purchased these antiques with his friend Frank Weston Benson [1979.615] in Salem, Massachusetts; records show that the two painters each owned several gate-leg tables.[9]

    Although unfinished at the time, the artist included Girl Reading in the March 1909 “Twelfth Annual Exhibition—Ten American Painters” at New York’s Montross Gallery. One reviewer noted that the painting showed tremendous growth in Tarbell’s work: “in color this latest canvas is more beautiful than any of its predecessors…the tones are very quiet, but they seem richer and deeper.”[10]The MFA purchased the painting directly from Tarbell shortly thereafter.

    Notes
    1. Edmund Tarbell to Arthur Fairbanks, December 18, 1921, curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
    2. Erica E. Hirshler, “‘Good and Beautiful Work’: Edmund C. Tarbell and the Arts and Crafts Movement,” in Impressionism Transformed: The Paintings of Edmund C. Tarbell, by Susan Strickler, Linda J. Docherty, and Erica E. Hirshler, exh. cat. (Manchester, N.H.: Currier Gallery of Art, 2001), 75.
    3. Philip Hale, Jan Vermeer of Delft (Boston: Small and Maynard, 1913), 229–31.
    4. Hirshler, “‘Good and Beautiful Work,’” 80.
    5. Tarbell quoted in Hirshler, “‘Good and Beautiful Work,’”, 74.
    6. See, for example, Patricia Hills, Turn-of-the-Century America (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1977), 74, and Bernice Kramer Leader, “The Boston Lady as a Work of Art: Paintings by the Boston School at the Turn of the Century” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 1980), 86, 245.
    7. Charlotte Barton West letters, 1904–7, roll 75, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    8. Susan Strickler, “A Life that Is Art: Edmund C. Tarbell in New Castle,” in Strickler et al., Impressionism Transformed, 2001, 137.
    9. Patricia Jobe Pierce, Edmund C. Tarbell and the Boston School of Painting, 1889–1980 (Hingham, Mass.: Pierce Galleries, 1980), 87.
    10. “Art Exhibitions: New Pictures by The Ten American Painters,”New York Daily Tribune, March 20, 1909, 7, col. 1.

    Victoria Ross

    Inscription

    Lower right: Tarbell

    Provenance

    1909, sold by the artist to the MFA for $4,500. (Accession Date: March 18, 1909)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.91 x 72.39 cm (32 1/4 x 28 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    09.209

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Joseph P. and Anne B. Pellegrino Gallery (Gallery 223)

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    Americas

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  • Park Bench

    about 1890
    William Merritt Chase (American, 1849–1916)

    Description

    An Indiana native, William Merritt Chase became one of the most accomplished interpreters of Impressionism in the United States. Chase first adopted a fluid painterly style in Munich, where he, like many other painters from the American Midwest (where German influence was strong), trained in the 1870s. After 1885 he shifted away from the dark figurative subjects that had earned him early recognition and began to experiment with images drawn from modern life. As did Dennis Miller Bunker [45.475] and Childe Hassam [1978.178], Chase brought together the bright colors and animated brushwork of the French style with subjects that were recognizably American. He became known for both sun-filled scenes of women and children outdoors and subtle, opalescent interiors.
    Park Bench is a casual image of a woman resting in the bucolic setting of a city oasis. It was one of many pictures Chase made of urban parks in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and it is probably the painting he first exhibited in New York with the title An Idle Hour in the Park—Central Park. His audience would have been able to readily identify the rocky landscape and rusticated furniture of New York’s largest park. The preserve had been many years in the making—calls for protecting the land in the metropolis had begun in the 1830s. Twenty years later, spurred by the vanishing opportunity to create a great urban park on a par with those of London and Paris, the city bought the land and organized a competition to design it. The commission was awarded to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who developed the landscape of gentle hills, wooded glens, lakes, and submerged carriage drives still familiar today. The park was an immediate success with city residents, who enjoyed its recreational offerings in all seasons.

    Chase used his series of intimate park scenes to establish himself as an innovative painter of modern subjects. He was doubtless familiar with the views of Parisian parks that had been exhibited in Paris and New York by John Singer Sargent and the Italian painter Giovanni Boldini. He also knew the urban landscapes of Hassam, including Boston Common at Twilight [31.952]. In Park Bench, Chase combined public and private worlds: his solitary model is lost in thought as if alone in one of Chase’s contemplative interiors [2007.7], but the setting is clearly outdoors and therefore shared with others. Chase’s picture captures a mere glance at an ephemeral scene: at any second, the viewer feels, either the woman will move or the observer will continue along the path. In this way, along with the quick flickering brushstrokes he used to define both the woman and the landscape, Chase brought the instantaneity of Impressionism to American shores.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: Wm M. Chase.

    Provenance

    After 1890, probably Annie DeCamp Hegeman (Mrs. Henry Kirke) Porter (1836-1925), Pittsburgh, Penn., who was a friend of the artist; about 1925, by descent to her daughter, Miss Annie May Hegeman (1859-1948), Lenox, Mass.; October 15-16, 1942, Hegeman and others sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 317, as "The Park" to Arthur Weisenberger; 1949, gift of Arthur Weisenberger to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 8, 1949)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Arthur Wiesenberger

    Details

    Dimensions

    30.5 x 40.6 cm (12 x 16 in.)

    Accession Number

    49.1790

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Suzanne and Terrence Murray Gallery (Gallery 226)

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    Americas

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  • Mrs. Howard Cushing (Ethel Cochrane) (The Mandarin Coat)

    1904
    Howard Gardiner Cushing (American, 1869–1916)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Howard G. Cushing/1904.

    Provenance

    History of Ownership: the artist; to Mrs. Howard Cushing (Ethel Cochrane), his wife, the sitter; to MFA, 1917, purchased for $1,750.

    Credit Line

    Ellen Kelleran Gardner Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    101.28 x 76.83 cm (39 7/8 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.3170

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Woman with a Flower

    Indian, Mughal
    Mughal period, reign of Shah Jahan or Aurangzeb
    second half of 17th century

    Object Place: Northern India

    Description

    Provenance

    Purchased by the MFA in 1960 from Mrs. Gertrude Fuller.

    Credit Line

    Asiatic Curator's Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 22.8 x 15cm (9 x 5 7/8in.)

    Accession Number

    60.1139

    Medium or Technique

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • A Girl Reading

    1877
    Frank Duveneck (American, 1848–1919)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: F. Duveneck 1877

    Provenance

    The artist; with Frank W. Bayley; to MFA, 1923, purchased for $3,000.

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    60.96 x 51.12 cm (24 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    23.119

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Reverie (Katharine Finn)

    1913
    Edmund Charles Tarbell (American, 1862–1938)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Tarbell—1913

    Provenance

    1913, the artist; by 1915, Miss Georgina S. Cary, a friend of the sitter and one of Tarbell's former students; 1933, bequest of Georgina S. Cary to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 6, 1933)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Georgina S. Cary

    Details

    Dimensions

    127.32 x 86.68 cm (50 1/8 x 34 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    33.400

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Out on Loan

    On display at Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, June 28, 2014 – September 15, 2014

    Collections

    Americas

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  • The Blue Cup

    1909
    Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (American, 1858–1923)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: JOSEPH-DE-CAMP-1909

    Provenance

    1909, the artist; by 1924, Frank G. Webster (1841-1930), Boston; 1930, by descent to his children, Edwin S. Webster, Lawrence J. Webster, and Mrs. Mary S. Sampson; 1933, gift of Edwin S. Webster, Lawrence J. Webster, and Mrs. Mary S. Sampson to the MFA. (Accession Date: July 20, 1933)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edwin S. Webster, Lawrence J. Webster and Mrs. Mary S. Sampson in memory of their father, Frank G. Webster

    Details

    Dimensions

    126.68 x 104.46 cm (49 7/8 x 41 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    33.532

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • A Garden

    1883
    Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American, 1851–1938)

    Description

    A native of Boston, Thomas Wilmer Dewing began his career as a lithographer. He first listed himself as a taxidermist and then a clerk in city directories, but by the early 1870s he had started to think of himself as a painter. He traveled to Paris for two years of study, like many American artists in the decades after the Civil War, and returned to Boston to teach at the newly founded School of the Museum of Fine Arts. In 1880 he moved to New York, where he taught at the Art Students League, later explaining that living anywhere other than Manhattan was “camping out.”[1]He and his wife Maria, also a painter, did leave the city to spend each summer in Cornish, New Hampshire, where they became integral members of the art colony that established itself there.
    Dewing was interested in contemporary European art and, especially during the early part of his career, he drew inspiration from a variety of sources: Italian, French, and English. A Garden was one of the first paintings he made in the manner of the Aesthetic movement, a style based on British models that emphasized beauty and harmonious design. English painters like Lawrence Alma-Tadema [41.117], whom Dewing especially admired, crafted flawlessly beautiful genre scenes with themes from classical antiquity. In A Garden, Dewing worked in a delicate, realistic style, employing a number of motifs common to those consciously artistic paintings: lovely women in classical robes, a marble bench imagined from Greek and Roman sources, swaying poppies, and elegant peacocks. However Dewing’s garden is hidden, detached from the world beyond the wall where bright sails can be glimpsed plying an unknown sea. The lyre-playing figure is hooded and sits before a patch of ripe melons, symbols of fertility, and poppies, emblems of sleep, dreams, and decadence. The flute player reclines gracefully near a white peacock, a token of marriage, immortality, and also vanity. Yet this combination of objects illustrates no obvious myth or legend, intriguing viewers with its mystery and exquisite grace. Instead of telling a story, each carefully chosen color, pattern, and shape in A Garden is arranged to create a poem in paint.

    Notes
    1. Susan Hobbs, “Thomas Wilmer Dewing: The Early Years, 1851–1885,” American Art Journal 13, no. 2 (Spring 1981): 24.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: T.W. Dewing. 1883; Reverse: A Garden. Thomas W. Dewing. N.Y.

    Provenance

    1883, sold by the artist to Thomas B. Clarke (1848-1931), New York; 1899, Thomas B. Clarke collection sale to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), Detroit; by 1901, gift from Freer to Stanford White (1853-1906), New York. After 1906, purchased by John Gellatly (1853-1931), New York. Before 1933, George H. Webster, Haverhill, Mass.; 1934, bequest of George H. Webster to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 5, 1934)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of George H. Webster

    Details

    Dimensions

    40.32 x 101.6 cm (15 7/8 x 40 in.)

    Accession Number

    34.131

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

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  • Room in Brooklyn

    1932
    Edward Hopper (American, 1882–1967)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed lower right: EDWARD HOPPER

    Provenance

    1932, the artist; with Frank K. M. Rehn, Inc., New York; 1935, sold by Frank K. M. Rehn to the MFA for $1,800. (Accession Date: March 7, 1935)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Unframed: 73.98 x 86.36 cm (29 1/8 x 34 in.) Framed: 88.9 x 100.3 x 7.6 cm (35 x 39 1/2 x 3 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.66

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Gallery (Gallery 327)

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    Americas

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  • L'Edition de Luxe

    1910
    Lilian Westcott Hale (American, 1880–1963)

    Description

    Women artists found Boston to be a particularly supportive environment for their professional activities. Lilian Westcott came to the city from Hartford, Connecticut, with a scholarship to study painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She worked with Edmund Tarbell [09.209] for two years, but left the program when she married Philip Hale [1996.332], a professor of drawing there. He supported her career even after their daughter Nancy was born in 1908, and Lilian Westcott Hale became an integral part of Boston’s closely knit community of like-minded artists. Many of them were women; one of Lilian Hale’s best friends was another woman painter—her sister-in-law, Philip Hale’s older sister, Ellen Day Hale [1986.645].

    Lilian Hale’s ethereal images of contemplative women in interiors won her much critical and popular acclaim during her lifetime, and collectors sought them avidly. She staged her compositions with models in her studio, sometimes creating both charcoal and oil versions of the same theme. A related and highly finished charcoal drawing entitled Spring Morning [65.1336], dated 1908, employs a composition similar to this one, but it substitutes a bowl of daffodils for the branch of cherry blossoms seen here.

    In L’Edition de Luxe Hale posed her favorite model, Rose Zeffler (called Zeffy), with a book in front of a window and allowed soft light, filtered by curtains, to bathe the scene in a rosy glow. These pink tones echo in the delicate flowers, the polished table, and Zeffy’s coppery hair. Carefully balanced and exquisitely rendered, the whole composition is an “edition de luxe,” just like the luxurious volume the young woman holds and to which the painting’s title refers. The composition reflects Hale’s belief in the importance of beauty and craftsmanship. Her traditional artistic ideals, however, did not prevent her from pursuing an active and successful professional career. Hale’s images of quiet women earned her national recognition.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Upper left: Lilian Westcott Hale 1910.

    Provenance

    1911, sold by the artist to Sarah Cabot (Mrs. Andrew) Wheelwright (1835-1917), Boston, through the Copley Gallery; 1917, by descent to her daughter, Mary Cabot Wheelwright (1878-1958), Boston; 1935, gift of Miss Mary C. Wheelwright to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 3, 1935)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Mary C. Wheelwright

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    58.42 x 38.42 cm (23 x 15 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    35.1487

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Joseph P. and Anne B. Pellegrino Gallery (Gallery 223)

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    Americas

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  • Woman and Flowers

    1868
    Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (Dutch (active in England), 1836–1912)

    Description

    In many paintings, Alma-Tadema infused the stylistic elements of northern European scenes of daily life with the contemporary Victorian interest in classical antiquity (the artist kept 168 volumes of photographs of Greek and Roman antiquities). Here, Alma-Tadema depicted a woman in classical dress leaning on a Pompeian bronze table, the model for which is now in the archaeological museum in Naples. The artist’s detailed treatment of flowers, jewelry, and textiles helps to create a sensuous and highly exotic mood.

    Inscription

    Center left, on table edge: L. ALMA-TADEMA 1868

    Provenance

    By 1872, Thomas Wigglesworth (b. 1814 - d. 1906 or 1907), Boston [see note 1]; by descent to his niece, Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth (Mrs. W. Scott Fitz) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; by descent to her son, Edward Jackson Holmes (b. 1873 - d. 1950), Boston; 1941, gift of Edward Jackson Holmes to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 13, 1941) NOTES: [1] He first lent the painting to the Boston Athenaeum in 1872 ("The Roman Lady," cat. no. 158).

    Credit Line

    Gift of Edward Jackson Holmes

    Details

    Dimensions

    49.8 x 37.2 cm (19 5/8 x 14 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    41.117

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Musical Instruments Alcove (Gallery 103C)

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    Europe

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  • Leisure

    1910
    William Worcester Churchill (American, 1858–1926 American)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: Churchill 1910

    Provenance

    The artist; Gorham Hubbard; to MFA, 1912, gift of Gorham Hubbard.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Gorham Hubbard

    Details

    Dimensions

    75.88 x 63.82 cm (29 7/8 x 25 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    12.325

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Divan Japonais

    1893
    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864–1901)

    Description

    Poster for the cabaret Divan Japonais, published version. Text (verbatim transcription of lettering): “Divan Japonais / 75 rue des Martyrs / Ed Fournier / Directeur” (lettering by the artist).

    Inscription

    On stone, l.r.: THLautrec/ Imp. Edw. Ancourt, Paris

    Provenance

    London Graphic Arts, Detroit; 1968, sold by London Graphic Arts to MFA. (Accession Date: November 13, 1968)

    Credit Line

    Lee M. Friedman Fund

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Wittrock P11; Delteil 341;

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 81 x 62.3 cm (31 7/8 x 24 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    68.721

    Medium or Technique

    Poster, crayon, brush, spatter and transferred screen lithograph, printed from four stones in olive-green, red, yellow and black

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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  • To Tomita Beach

    Tomita-hama e
    「富田濱へ」

    Japanese
    early Shôwa era
    1936
    Artist Unknown, Japanese

    Place of Creation: Japan

    Description

    Provenance

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Fractional gift of Lauder (Accession date: March 20, 2002).

    Credit Line

    Leonard A. Lauder Collection of Japanese Postcards

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 13.8 x 8.8 cm (5 7/16 x 3 7/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    2002.1635

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph; ink on coated paper

    Not On View

    Collections

    Asia, Prints and Drawings

    Classifications

    Postcards

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  • Delftsche Slaolie (Delft Salad Oil)

    1894
    Johannes Theodorus Toorop (Dutch, 1858–1928)

    Description

    Inscription

    Signed in stone/lithograph plate in image at l. r.: J. T.

    Provenance

    Purchased, Sept. 1990

    Credit Line

    Lee M. Friedman Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 87.3 x 56 cm (34 3/8 x 22 1/16 in.) Sheet: 100 x 70.5 cm (39 3/8 x 27 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    1990.458

    Medium or Technique

    Poster, lithograph in black and yellow inks

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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  • Poster for N. Lembrée, Estampes & Encadrements....Brussels

    1897
    Theodore van Rysselberghe (Belgian, 1862–1926)

    Description

    Inscription

    Inscribed in pencil l. c.: "73" (??)

    Provenance

    Elmar W. Seibel; gift to MFA 1991

    Credit Line

    Gift of Azita Bina-Seibel and Elmar W. Seibel

    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 69.5 x 51 cm (27 3/8 x 20 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1991.854

    Medium or Technique

    Color lithograph

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints, Posters

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  • Portrait of a Young Woman

    (Countess Worontzoff ?)

    about 1797
    Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Le Brun (French, 1755–1842)

    Description

    Vigée-Le Brun achieved great fame for her portraits of the French aristocracy. Because women were not allowed to attend the official art schools, Vigée-Le Brun was primarily self-taught. She nevertheless gained admission to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture through the support of her chief patron, the queen Marie Antoinette. When the French Revolution began in 1789, Vigée-Le Brun fled France and spent thirteen years in exile, painting the nobility of Naples, Austria, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland. Some scholars think that the charming young woman in this portrait may be Countess Irina Ivanovna Worontzov, a Russian aristocrat who posed for the painter.

    Provenance

    1913, Eugène Kraemer collection; May 5-6, 1913, 2nd posthumous Kraemer sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, lot 50, sold for fr. 4,300 to Edward M. Hodgkins, London. 1917, Maria Antoinette Evans Hunt (Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans) (b. 1845 - d. 1917), Boston; 1917, bequest of Mrs. Robert Dawson Evans to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 1, 1917)

    Credit Line

    Robert Dawson Evans Collection

    Details

    Dimensions

    82.2 x 70.5 cm (32 3/8 x 27 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    17.3256

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Europe

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  • Hope

    1896
    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (English, 1833–1898)

    Description

    Hope, one of the three theological Virtues, is symbolized here as a prisoner chained indoors, holding a branch of apple blossoms and reaching upward to pull the blue sky down toward her. The slender, vertical format of this painting recalls the fact that many of Burne-Jones’s designs were successfully translated into stained-glass windows and textiles. Burne-Jones painted this work for Mrs. Whitin, of Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He had previously worked on a large watercolor version of the same subject.

    Inscription

    Lower right: E:BURNE:JONES: / Finished 1896:

    Provenance

    1896, Mrs. George Marston Whitin (Catharine Whitin Lasell) (b. 1856), Whitinsville, MA (original commission) [see note 1]; by descent to her daughters, Mrs. Laurence Murray Keeler (Elizabeth Klock Whitin, b. 1880), Mrs. Sydney Russell Mason (Elsa Whitin, b. 1884), Mrs. Elijah Kent Swift (Katharine Leland Whitin, b. 1887), and Mrs. William Carey Crane (Lois Haven Whitin, b. 1896), Whitinsville; 1940, gift of Mrs. Laurence Murray Keeler, Mrs. Sydney Russell Mason, Mrs. Elijah Kent Swift and Mrs. William Carey Crane to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 14, 1940) NOTES: [1] Edward Burne-Jones had been commissioned by Mrs. Whitin, through Christine Barrington, an intermediary, to paint a dancing figure. A letter from Ms. Barrington to Mrs. Whitin (July 29, 1896; typed transcript in the MFA curatorial file) indicates that by mid-1896, work on the commission was proceeding poorly. She wrote: "This picture that he is at now is the figure of 'Hope' (oils of course) 'a girl [I quote from him now] in prison, reaching up one hand, and pulling the blue sky down to her. Flowers are springing up between the stone flags of her cell, and a branch of apple tree is in full blossom in her other hand. Will you let me know if this will be liked, and I will go on with it quickly, and undertake to finish it within the year.' " A letter from Ms. Barrington to Mrs. Whitin (September 9, 1896) confirms her acceptance of his offer for the painting of Hope; correspondence from 1897 between Mrs. Whitin and the artist discusses shipment and payment.

    Credit Line

    Given in memory of Mrs. George Marston Whitin by her four daughters, Mrs. Laurence Murray Keeler, Mrs. Sydney Russell Mason, Mrs. Elijah Kent Swift and Mrs. William Carey Crane

    Details

    Dimensions

    179 x 63.5 cm (70 1/2 x 25 in.)

    Accession Number

    40.778

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)

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    Europe

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  • Isabella and the Pot of Basil

    1897
    John White Alexander (American, 1856–1915)

    Description

    The enigmatic literary subjects of artists like ElihuVedder [06.2430], William Rimmer [56.119], and Thomas Wilmer Dewing [34.131] take on a gruesome flavor in this unusual work by John White Alexander. A native of Pittsburgh who trained as an artist in Munich, Alexander first established himself in New York as an illustrator and cartoonist. He also earned praise for his fashionable portraits [1980.659], many of them of writers and actors. In 1890 Alexander moved to Paris, where he met James Abbott McNeill Whistler [60.1158], who introduced him to many of the leading figures of the European Symbolist movement. These painters and writers were interested in dreams and the imagination, and elements of macabre fantasy often appear in their work. During the ten years he spent in Paris, Alexander experimented with decorative and decadent themes, often employing the slender, sinuous lines of the Art Nouveau style.
    Isabella, or The Pot of Basil was a poem written in 1820 by the English poet John Keats, who borrowed his narrative from the Italian Renaissance poet Giovanni Boccaccio. Isabella was a Florentine merchant’s beautiful daughter whose ambitious brothers disapproved of her romance with the handsome but humbly born Lorenzo, their father’s business manager. The brothers murdered Lorenzo and told their sister that he had traveled abroad. The distraught Isabella began to decline, wasting away from grief and sadness. She saw the crime in a dream and then went to find her lover’s body in the forest. Taking Lorenzo’s head, she bathed it with her tears and finally hid it in a pot in which she planted sweet basil, a plant associated with lovers.

    Alexander used theatrical effects to render this grim scene, isolating Isabella in a shallow niche and lighting her from below, as if she were an actor on a stage illuminated only with footlights. This eerie light, the cold monochromatic palette, and the sensuous curves of Isabella’s gown all draw the viewer’s eye to the loving attention Isabella gives the pot, which she gently caresses. Isabella seems lost in an erotic spectral trance, oblivious to the world and to observers. With his strange subject, Alexander created an extraordinary and mysterious image of love gone awry.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower left: John Alexander .97

    Provenance

    1897 or 1898, sold by the artist to Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow (b. 1845 - d. 1921), Boston; 1898, gift of Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 19, 1898)

    Credit Line

    Gift of Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow

    Details

    Dimensions

    192.09 x 91.76 cm (75 5/8 x 36 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.181

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Robert P. and Carol T. Henderson Gallery (Gallery 228)

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    Americas

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  • Mrs. J. Borden Harriman Opens the Campaign for Woodrow Wilson

    1912
    Artist Unidentified artist, American, 20th century (American)

    Description

    Inscription

    u.c. on mount: Today's News in Pictures.; l.c. on mount: Photos copyrightd, 1912, by International News Service, 200 Williams Street, New York

    Provenance

    Private collection; gift June 1973.

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image/Sheet: 35.7 x 28.3 cm (14 1/16 x 11 1/8 in.) Mount: 44.6 x 41.0 cm (17 9/16 x 16 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1973.450

    Medium or Technique

    Photograph, gelatin silver print

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas, Photography

    Classifications

    Photographs

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  • "Au Revoir! - Costume Tailleur pour la promenade," plate V from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 1, No. 1

    French
    November 1912
    Francisco Javier Gosé (Spanish, 1876–1915), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    Petit costume tailleur élégant pour la promenade, en drap chamois, bordé de zibeline. Le chapeau et le manchon sont assortis.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.6.5

    Medium or Technique

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "De La Pomme Aux Lèvres - Travesti de Redfern," plate VI from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 1, No. 4

    French
    February 1913
    Charles Martin (French, 1884–1934), Illustrating design by John Redfern (English, 1853–1929), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    La robe princesse de Redfern en velours frappé incrusté de paillettes d’argent s’ouvre sure le devant et laisse voir un dessous de mousseline de soie.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.9.6

    Medium or Technique

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "La Promeneuse Mélancolique - Robe d'après-midi, de Beer," plate 63 from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 8

    French
    October 1922
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932), Illustrating design by House of Beer (French French), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    De Beer, une robe d’après-midi, eb crèpe; col, manchettes et ceinture en mousseline ornée de dentelle d’or.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.53.7

    Medium or Technique

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "Des Roses dans la Nuit - Robe du Soir, de Worth," plate 54 from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 2, No. 7

    French
    September 1921
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932), Illustrating design by House of Worth (French, 1858-1956), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    De Worth, une robe du soir en crêpe de Chine blanc, garnie de franges de soie verte, retenues par des bandes de strass.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.42.6

    Medium or Technique

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "Rendez-Vous Villa Gori - Robe et manteau, de Worth," plate 66 from Gazette du Bon Ton, No. 9

    French
    1924–25
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932), Illustrating design by House of Worth (French, 1858-1956), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.237.1

    Medium or Technique

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "La Joueuse de Théorbe - Manteau du soir de Paquin," plate 18 from Gazette du Bon Ton, Volume 1, No. 2

    French
    February 1914
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932), Illustrating design by Mme. Jeanne Paquin (French, 1892–1956), Publisher Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts

    Object Place: Paris, France

    Description

    Manteau du soir de Paquin en velours noir et velours rose, garni de dentelle d’argent et bordé de renard gris aux manches et au bas de la jupe.

    Provenance

    By 1952, William Morris Hunt Memorial Library; accessioned by MFA, Boston, February 12, 2004

    Credit Line

    Transferred from the William Morris Hunt Memorial Library

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 19.1 cm (10 x 7 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    2004.19.8

    Medium or Technique

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe

    Classifications

    Books and manuscripts, Books

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  • "Manteau de Libeline à col et poignets de renard blanc," plate 30 from Journal des Dames et des Modes

    French
    1912
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932)

    Object Place: France

    Description

    Credit Line

    Gift of Philip Hofer, Esq.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Legacy dimension: 9 x 5 1/2 in. (22.9 x 14.0 cm)

    Accession Number

    63.2530

    Medium or Technique

    Etching with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

    Collections

    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints

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  • "Grande robe du soir, corsage de mousseline chair, tunique de soie brodée dans le goût de la 'Compagnie des Inden'," plate 69 from Journal des Dames et des Modes

    French
    1913
    George Barbier (French, 1882–1932)

    Object Place: France

    Description

    Credit Line

    Gift of Philip Hofer, Esq.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Legacy dimension: 9 x 5 1/2 in. (22.9 x 14.0 cm)

    Accession Number

    63.2543

    Medium or Technique

    Etching with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Not On View

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    Europe, Prints and Drawings

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    Prints

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  • Jessica

    1890
    Dennis Miller Bunker (American, 1861–1890)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: D.M. BUNKER/1890

    Provenance

    1890, by descent to the artist's mother-in-law, Mary Caroline Sumner (Mrs. Alpheus) Hardy, Boston; 1891, gift to the MFA by contribution. (Accession Date: April 7, 1891)

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Dimensions

    66.67 x 61.28 cm (26 1/4 x 24 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    91.130

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Jan and Warren Adelson Gallery (Gallery 221)

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    Americas

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  • Saint Catherine

    1896
    Mary Lizzie Macomber (American, 1861–1916)

    Description

    Inscription

    Center right: M.L. Macomber./1896.; lower left: Copyrighted.1896.by.M.L. Macomber; Reverse: St. Catherine/M L Macomber/1896/Copyrighted 1896 by M L Macomber.

    Provenance

    The artist; to MFA, 1898, gift of the artist.

    Credit Line

    Gift of the artist

    Details

    Dimensions

    83.5 x 61.28 cm (32 7/8 x 24 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    98.622

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • The Guitar Player

    1908
    Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (American, 1858–1923)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: JOSEPH-DE-CAMP-1908

    Provenance

    1908, sold by the artist to the MFA for $2,500. (Accession Date: April 9, 1908)

    Credit Line

    The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    126.36 x 114.93 cm (49 3/4 x 45 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    08.204

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Lobby into American Impressionism ( 226A)

    Collections

    Americas, Musical Instruments

    Classifications

    Musical instruments, Membranophones

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  • Sea Breeze

    about 1880
    George Henry Boughton (American (born in England), 1833–1905)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: GHBoughton [GHB in monogram]

    Provenance

    The artist; John A. Lowell Blake; to MFA, 1916, gift of John A. Lowell Blake.

    Credit Line

    Gift of John A. Lowell Blake

    Details

    Dimensions

    53.34 x 34.92 cm (21 x 13 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    16.67

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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    Americas

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    Paintings

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  • Girl in White (Margaret Greene)

    about 1888
    Abbott Handerson Thayer (American, 1849–1921)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: Abbott H Thayer

    Provenance

    About 1888, the Greene family; by 1891, by descent to the sister of the sitter, Miss Mary Amory Greene, Boston; 1940, gift of the estate of Mary Amory Greene to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 11, 1940)

    Credit Line

    Gift of the Estate of Mary Amory Greene

    Details

    Dimensions

    94.61 x 74.93 cm (37 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    40.19

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Jan and Warren Adelson Gallery (Gallery 221)

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    Americas

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  • Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading

    1876
    Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

    Description

    Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Cassatt settled in Paris in 1875 and became the only American invited to exhibit with the Impressionist group. Like her friend Edgar Degas, she was a figure painter, attracted to intimate views of modern life. Cassatt focused on depicting the domestic and social lives of upper-class women, showing them drinking tea, attending the opera, crocheting, or reading.

    Inscription

    Upper left: M.S.Cassatt./Paris/1876.

    Provenance

    The artist; to Mary E.G. Duffee, the subject; to Frances Harold Duffee, her daughter, 1894; to E.D. Levinson, Cedarhurst, N.Y.; with Wildenstein & Co., New York; to John T. Spaulding, Boston, 1934; to MFA, 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Details

    Dimensions

    34.29 x 26.67 cm (13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.523

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • The Yellow Room

    about 1910
    Frederick Carl Frieseke (American, 1874–1939)

    Description

    Like several of the American Impressionists, Michigan-born Frederick Carl Frieseke spent most of his life in France, sending his paintings home to the United States for exhibition and sale. He had first traveled to Paris in 1897, enrolling at the Académie Julian, long a popular program for aspiring American artists. Frieseke also studied with the renowned American expatriate painter James McNeill Whistler at his short-lived school, the Académie Carmen. Whistler’s passion for Japanese art, for decoration, and for distinctive color arrangements had a lasting influence on Frieseke’s work. Frieseke also admired the French Impressionist Claude Monet, particularly for his brilliant use of color and his interest in the effects of sunlight. From 1906 to 1919 Frieseke spent his summers in Giverny, the small village in Normandy that had been Monet’s home since 1883, joining the significant colony of American artists there.

    In The Yellow Room Frieseke fused bold color juxtapositions and careful formal design, bringing together the qualities he most admired in the work of Monet and Whistler. He posed his model in the living room of his own house in Giverny, which itself was one of his artistic creations. Frieseke had painted the walls lemon yellow and ornamented the room with blue rugs and curtains, a striking color combination that Monet had also employed in his home. Against this backdrop Frieseke posed a costumed model, arranged Japanese ceramics, and massed containers of fruit and flowers to create a panoply of color and pattern. The large Imari-style plate and the model’s kimono reflect the artist’s interest in Asian art, with its emphasis on two-dimensional design and ornament. The wealth and variety of patterns Frieseke employed, as well as the way in which the figure is not given precedence but instead merges into its surroundings, also recall paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Like those modern French artists, Frieseke created intimate domestic interiors that use bold decorative arrangements to explore the shifting relationship between paintings as representations of the real world and as independent abstract designs. These concerns would preoccupy many American artists throughout the twentieth century.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Inscription

    Lower left: F.C. Frieseke

    Provenance

    1913, with Macbeth Gallery, New York; 1914-15, Mrs. C. J. Blair; with Macbeth Gallery; 1917, possibly with Anderson Gallery, New York (as In the Sunlight); with Ferargil Galleries; 1919, sold by Ferargil Galleries to Macbeth Gallery; 1921, sold by Macbeth Gallery to John T. Spaulding, Boston; 1948, bequest of John T. Spaulding to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 3, 1948)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of John T. Spaulding

    Copyright

    Reproduced with permission.

    Details

    Dimensions

    81.28 x 80.96 cm (32 x 31 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    48.543

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Croll Gallery (Gallery 227)

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  • Reading on the Rocks, Grand Manan

    about 1877
    John George Brown (American (born in England), 1831–1913)

    Description

    John George Brown
    American (born in England), 1831–1913

    Reading on the Rocks, Grand Manan, about 1877
    Oil on canvas

    This painting, which Brown exhibited in 1892, bears a false signature of Winslow Homer.

    Gift of Walstein C. Findlay, Jr. in memory of William Wadsworth Findlay, 1961 61.1294

    Inscription

    Lower left (in another hand): Homer/1888

    Provenance

    The artist; Walstein C. Findlay, Jr., by about 1959; to MFA, 1961, gift of Walstein C. Findlay, Jr.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Walstein C. Findlay, Jr. in memory of William Wadsworth Findlay

    Details

    Dimensions

    58.42 x 38.1 cm (23 x 15 in.)

    Accession Number

    61.1294

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Armenian Woman

    1882
    Frederick Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847–1928)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower right: F.A. Bridgman 1882

    Provenance

    The artist; with Schweitzer Gallery, New York; to MFA, 1977, purchase.

    Credit Line

    Robert Jordan Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    152.72 x 117.16 cm (60 1/8 x 46 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1977.719

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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  • Miss F.

    about 1910
    Ernest Lee Major (American, 1864–1950)

    Description

    Inscription

    Upper left: Ernest L Major

    Provenance

    Hiatory of Ownership: the artist; Harold and Esther Heins; to MFA, 1984, gift of Harold and Esther Heins.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Harold and Esther Heins

    Details

    Dimensions

    101.6 x 76.2 cm (40 x 30 in.)

    Accession Number

    1984.795

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    Not On View

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    Americas

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  • Mrs. Charles E. Inches (Louise Pomeroy)

    1887
    John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925)

    Description

    In 1887, Sargent made his first visit to the United States as a working artist. In New York, Newport, and Boston, Sargent painted more than twelve formal portraits, aided in his endeavors by author and friend Henry James’s description of his talent and his previous success in the Parisian art world. [1]During this trip, Sargent painted Louise Pomeroy Inches of Boston. He arrived in the city early in 1887 and stayed with his friends Mary Louisa [63.268] and Edward Boit (who had returned from Paris in 1886, bringing with them Sargent’s 1882 portrait of their daughters [19.124]. The Boits lived around the corner from Charles and Louise Inches and it is likely that Boit, who was Charles Inches’s first cousin, introduced them to Sargent and may have encouraged the idea of a portrait. Boit documented the Inches’ commission in his diary and noted that it was completed by Christmas Eve, when he went to their home at 88 Charles Street to see “Charley’s wife’s portrait by Sargent,” describing it as “a beautiful picture.”[2]

    Louise Pomeroy Inches (1861–1933) was born in Troy, Pennsylvania, the youngest of three daughters of Horace and Emma Pomeroy. When she was twenty-two, she married Dr. Charles Inches of Boston, a Harvard-educated physician twenty years her senior, who become known for giving free medical aid to the poor. At the time she sat for her portrait, Louise Inches was a prominent society hostess well known for her beauty and the mother of two young sons. She was pregnant with her third child when she posed for Sargent, wearing a fashionably daring red evening gown that had been made with detachable panels to accommodate her pregnancies. (The garment, which still survives in a private collection, is an American copy of a design by the French couturier Worth.) Apparently the artist and sitter enjoyed each other’s company; both were accomplished musicians and are said to have played piano duets together.

    Sargent concentrated his attention on his sitter’s face and elegantly attenuated neck, painting her dress and arms more quickly and sketchily. The three-quarter length format, blank background, and slightly turned pose suggest French eighteenth-century portraits, which Sargent—and many of his patrons—admired. This reference is enhanced by the original frame selected for this painting, a decorative eighteenth-century style gilt frame crowned by an elaborate three-dimensional ribbon. The aristocratic fashionability of Sargent’s Boston portraits, including Mrs. Inches, was praised in the local press when they were first exhibited at the St. Botolph Club, in Sargent’s first solo exhibition, early in 1888. The critic for the Boston Evening Traveller declared that this portrait was “one of the most brilliant pieces of coloring that has been painted since the days of Titian.”[3] Writer Susan Hale noted, however, that many onlookers were “furious at the want of justice done to their friends … between those who thought them too beautiful and those who thought them not beautiful enough, all just speculation of [Sargent’s] method and execution was lost.”[4] Many viewers gossiped about their peer: “I think Mrs. Inches looks as if she would bring you the head of Holofernes for the asking,” Fanny Lang wrote astringently to Isabella Stewart Gardner.[5] Mrs. Inches often made the painting available for loan, although Sargent advised against asking for it again for a 1924 exhibition, as “[Mrs. Inches] rather makes a condition about my going to see if there is not something wrong about her nose—& I haven’t time.”[6] Despite such criticisms, Sargent’s image of Louise Inches projects both virtue and style. Her demure gaze and pose contrast with her brilliant crimson evening gown with its daring décolletage. In this way, she personifies the bold innocence that contemporary writers, including Sargent’s friend Henry James, found peculiarly American.

    Notes
    1. Henry James, “John S. Sargent,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 75 (October 1887), 683–92.
    2. Edward Boit, diary, roll 83, frame 1746, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
    3. Boston Evening Traveller, February, 8, 1888.
    4. Boston Sunday Globe, February 19, 1888.
    5. Fanny Lang to Isabella Stewart Gardner, January 30, 1888, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Archives, Boston.
    6. Sargent to Walter Clark, January 26, 1924, Grand Central Art GalleriesArchive, quoted in Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray, John Singer Sargent: The Early Portraits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 202–3.

    This text was adapted from Erica E. Hirshler’s entry in John Singer Sargent, ed. Elaine Kilmurray and Richard Ormond, exh. cat. (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998).

    Inscription

    Upper left: John S. Sargent; upper right: 1887

    Provenance

    1887, husband of the sitter, Dr. Charles E. Inches (1841-1911), Boston; 1911, by descent to the sitter, Louise Pomeroy (Mrs. Charles E.) Inches (1861-1933); 1933, by descent to her daughter, Louise Brimmer Inches (Mrs. Henry) Seton; 1971, by descent to her husband, Henry Seton; 1974, to a private collection; 1991, anonymous gift to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 22, 1992)

    Credit Line

    Anonymous gift in memory of Mrs. Charles Inches' daughter, Louise Brimmer Inches Seton

    Details

    Dimensions

    86.36 x 60.64 cm (34 x 23 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1991.926

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Gallery (Gallery 232)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Bocca Baciata (Lips That Have Been Kissed)

    1859
    Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English, 1828–1882)

    Description

    Rossetti here depicts his mistress, Fanny Cornforth, gazing at the viewer or perhaps at her own reflection in a mirror. The sensual sitter represents an idealized beauty, while the artist’s use of luxurious decorative elements invites sheer visual enjoyment. Inscribed on the back of this panel is a line from a sonnet by the fourteenth-century Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio: “Bocca baciate non perda ventura, anzi rinova come fa la luna” (The mouth that has been kissed loses not its freshness; still it renews itself even as does the moon).

    Inscription

    Lower left: G C D R (monogram); Reverse: Bocca Baciata no perde ventura, anzi rinnova come fa la / Boccaccio

    Provenance

    1859, George Price Boyce (b. 1826 - d. 1897), Chelsea, England (original commission) [see note 1]; July 2, 1897, posthumous Boyce sale, Christie, Manson and Woods, London, lot 211, to Dunthorne [see note 2]. 1897, Agnew, London, and Charles Fairfax Murray (b. 1849 - d. 1919), London [see note 3]; 1897, ownership passed fully to Murray; 1906, sold by Murray to Mrs. Edward D. Brandegee, Boston; by descent to her daughter, Martina Brandegee Lawrence (b. 1906 - d. 1959), Boston; by inheritance to her husband, James Lawrence (b. 1907 - d. 1995), Boston; 1980, gift of James Lawrence to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 18, 1980) NOTES: [1] Boyce, an architect, painter, and founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite society, was also a close friend and patron of Rossetti. He lent this painting to the "Exhibition of Old Masters," Royal Academy, London, 1883, cat. no. 309. [2] The name of the buyer is recorded by Algernon Graves, "Art Sales," vol. 3 (London, 1921), p. 104. He may have been an agent for Agnew or Murray. [3] Charles Fairfax Murray was a partner with the Agnew and purchased paintings for the firm. According to Barbara Bryant, in "The Age of Rossetti, Burne-Jones, & Watts: Symbolism in Britain, 1860-1910" (exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London 1997), p. 96, cat. no. 2, the painting was owned jointly by Agnew and Murray until 1897, and Murray sold it to Mrs. Brandegee in 1906.

    Credit Line

    Gift of James Lawrence

    Details

    Dimensions

    32.1 x 27.0 cm (12 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    1980.261

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Gallery (Gallery 252)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Statue of Lady Sennuwy

    Egyptian
    Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret I
    1971–1926 B.C.

    Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Tumulus K III, hall A

    Description

    Egyptian officials of the Middle Kingdom continued the practice of equipping their tombs with statues to house the ka of the tomb owner and to provide a focal point for the offering cult. Highly ranked officials also dedicated statues of themselves at sanctuaries of gods and deified ancestors. Following the experimental and idiosyncratic interlude of the First Intermediate Period, sculptors once again produced large-scale stone statues, returning to the basic forms and poses established in the Old Kingdom.

    This elegant seated statue of Lady Sennuwy of Asyut is one of the most superbly carved and beautifully proportioned sculptures from the Middle Kingdom. The unknown artist shaped and polished the hard, gray granodiorite with extraordinary skill, suggesting that he was trained in a royal workshop. He has portrayed Sennuwy as a slender, graceful young woman, dressed in the tightly fitting sheath dress that was fashionable at the time. The carefully modeled planes of the face, framed by a long, thick, striated wig, convey a serene confidence and timeless beauty. Such idealized, youthful, and placid images characterize the first half of Dynasty 12 and hark back to the art of the Old Kingdom. Sennuwy sits poised and attentive on a solid, blocklike chair, with her left hand resting flat on her lap and her right hand holding a lotus blossom, a symbol of rebirth. Inscribed on the sides and base of the chair are hieroglyphic texts declaring that she is venerated in the presence of Osiris and other deities associated with the afterlife.

    Sennuwy was the wife of a powerful provincial governor, Djefaihapi of Asyut, whose rock-cut tomb is the largest nonroyal tomb of the Middle Kingdom. Clearly, the couple had access to the finest artists and materials available. It is likely that this statue, along with a similar sculpture of Djefaihapi, was originally set up in the tomb chapel, although they may also have stood in a sanctuary. Both statues were discovered, however, far to the south at Kerma in Nubia, where they had been buried in the royal tumulus of a Nubian king who lived generations after Sennuwy’s death. They must have been removed from their original location and exported to Nubia some three hundred years after they were made. Exactly how, why, and when these pieces of sculpture, along with numerous other Egyptian statues, found their way to Kerma, however, is still unknown.

    Provenance

    From Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K III hall A. 1913: Excavated by the Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of the Sudan. (Accession Date: July 2, 1914)

    Credit Line

    Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition

    Details

    Dimensions

    Framed (The object sits on epoxy bed /structural steel pallet tubing): 21.6 x 62.2 x 116.2 cm (8 1/2 x 24 1/2 x 45 3/4 in.) Mount (Steel channel base with cross bracing 3" x 3/16"): 30.5 x 62.2 x 116.2 cm (12 x 24 1/2 x 45 3/4 in.) Overall (steel pallet and object, weighed): 170.2 x 116.2 x 47 cm, 1224.71 kg (67 x 45 3/4 x 18 1/2 in., 2700 lb.) Weight (Object and steel pallet with attaching steel base, estimate): 1319.97 kg (2910 lb.) Weight (Object (calculated by subtracting estimate of pallet weight)): 1079.56 kg (2380 lb.)

    Accession Number

    14.720

    Medium or Technique

    Granodiorite

    On View

    Egypt: Sculpture and Tomb Chapels (Gallery 209)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

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  • Head of Queen Tiye

    Egyptian
    New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III
    1390–1352 B.C.

    Description

    By the second year of his reign, Amenhotep III was married to his “great royal wife,” Queen Tiye. We know more about Tiye than we do about any other Eighteenth-Dynasty queen with the exception of Hatshepsut who ruled as pharaoh. The names of Tiye’s parents, both commoners, were proclaimed far and wide on a series of large commemorative scarabs and circulated throughout the empire - an unheard-of practice. No previous queen figured so prominently in her husband’s lifetime.

    Just as many images of Amenhotep III show him as a god, this head of Queen Tiye shows her as a goddess. The attributes of the goddess Hathor - cow horns and sun disks - on her headdress emphasize her role as the king’s divine, as well as earthly, partner. She even has the king’s facial features. In contrast, the large enveloping wig, encircled by a floral wreath and a band of rosettes, is not a conventional goddess’s hairdo but that of a contemporary lady of fashion. The combination of divine and queenly attributes intentionally blurs the lines between deity and mortal ruler.

    The head was acquired in the Sudan and is carved of Sudanese stone. It very likely comes from Amenhotep III’s temple to his queen at Sedeinga in northern Sudan, where Tiye was worshipped as a form of Hathor. Her memory survives there today in the name of the neighboring village, which is locally known as Adey, from Hut Tiye, “the mansion of Tiye.” The temple at Sedeinga was the pendant to Amenhotep III’s own, larger temple at Soleb, about 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) to the south. Indeed, the emphasis on the queen’s role as the king’s divine female counterpart provided the model for Nefertiti in the reign of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and anticipated the divine queens of the Ptolemaic Dynasty.

    Provenance

    From Dongola Province, Sudan (probably from Sedeinga). 1921: given to George Reisner for the MFA by Jackson Pasha.

    Credit Line

    Gift of George A. Reisner

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 20.3 x 11.5 x 12 cm (8 x 4 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    21.2802

    Medium or Technique

    Peridotite

    On View

    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery (Gallery 210)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Funerary monument of Aththaia, daughter of Malchos

    Palmyrene
    Imperial Period
    A.D. 150–200

    Place of Manufacture: Palmyra, Syria

    Description

    An elaborate Palmyrene grave relief with a Greek inscription “Aththaia, daughter of Malchos, Happy One, Farewell.” She wears a full tunic and a long himation (a cloak-like garment) which goes twice around her body and covers her head as a veil. Beneath this is a cloth headdress, an engraved diadem, and strings of jewels in her hair, which is looped back at the sides of her head to reveal pierced earlobes and elaborate pendant earrings. She also wears two necklaces, the outer one of gold chain with a sun-and-crescent pendant, two bracelets, three rings, and a large, circular brooch with three pendants hanging on her left breast. Her right hand is raised to her veil in a standard gesture for representations of women in Palmyrene funerary relief portraits; it may, as in Roman art, signal feminine modesty. Her left hand, supported by the sling of her himation, clasps a loop of fabric from her garment.

    Although the Greek inscription betrays her Hellenic affinities, her face and the details of carving are thoroughly Eastern. The incised relief line of the eyebrows and the rubbery folds of the neck foreshadow Graeco-Buddhist sculpture in northern and northwestern India, and central Asia. The carving of the chiton (tunic) and himation is expertly handled, but the number of tight, zigzag folds also foreshadows Late Antique and Byzantine art.

    The preservation is excellent, the surfaces being almost totally free of deterioration or deposit.

    Provenance

    By December 1909: said to have been in commerce in Beyrouth; by date unknown: Miss Amy Curtis Collection; August 24, 1922: purchased from Miss Amy Curtis by MFA with funds provided by Edward Perry Warren

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by Edward Perry Warren in memory of his sister

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 401; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 116-117 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (2008), p. 106.

    Dimensions

    Height: 55 cm (21 5/8 in.); width: 42 cm (16 9/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    22.659

    Medium or Technique

    Limestone

    On View

    Anne and Blake Ireland Gallery (Gallery 210A)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Tomb painting with scene of mourning women

    Egyptian
    New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III
    1390–1352 B.C.

    Findspot: Thebes, Egypt

    Description

    Fragment from a painted wall in the Tomb of Nebamun. It depicts a group of six mourning women standing at the funeral procession. Two women in the front kneel down to sprinkle dirt of their heads. Tears are visble on the cheeks of all the women. There are many chips. Most of the paint remains. Other fragments from this tomb are in Brooklyn, Kansas City, Princeton, and the Norbert Schimmel Collection.

    Provenance

    From Thebes, Tomb of Nebamun. 1968: Purchased by the MFA. (Accession Date: September 11, 1968)

    Credit Line

    William Francis Warden Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 23 x 33 cm (9 1/16 x 13 in.)

    Accession Number

    68.555

    Medium or Technique

    Painted mud plaster

    On View

    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) (Gallery 109)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Architectural elements, Wall painting

    More Info
  • Vessel in the form of a naked woman

    Near Eastern, Iranian
    Iron Age
    10th–9th century B.C.

    Description

    Vessel in form of a female figure. Opening in head and hollow interior.

    Mentioned in Syria 39 (1962) 224, n.l. cf. ibid. 214 fig. 4 (59.723) and 217 fig. 7 (coll. Vermeule); 7000 Ans d’art en Iran, pl. X, no. 91, another female vessel. The ears were pierced for gold earrings. Although its use and meaning are unknown, the figure may have been identified with female fertility or with a goddess’ protection.

    Provenance

    Said to be from northwest Iran. By 1962: with H.D. Motamed, New York; 1962: purchased by the MFA from H. D. Motamed. (Accession Date: June 6, 1962)

    Credit Line

    Frederick Brown Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 43.5 cm (17 1/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    62.582

    Medium or Technique

    Pottery

    On View

    Ancient Near East Gallery (Gallery 110)

    Collections

    Asia, The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Dancer

    Italic, Etruscan
    Late Archaic Period
    about 500 B.C.

    Description

    Female dancer (possibly a votive statuette) wearing a tight ankle-length dress without folds; many incised lines, dots and circles indicate a textile pattern. She wears pointed-toed shoes (Etruscan calcei repandi). On her head is an elongated cap. Probably made by a provincial workshop.

    Figure was solid cast in one piece; toe of the right foot has been filed off. Surface is moderately corroded; brownish patina on head, with olive green on body.

    Provenance

    By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: Bought in Rome.); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, December 1901

    Credit Line

    Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 197; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 121 (additional published references).

    Dimensions

    Height: 13.3 cm (5 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    01.7482

    Medium or Technique

    Bronze

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Figurine of a seated girl with tambourine and fillet

    Greek
    Early Hellenistic Period
    about 325–300 B.C.

    Place of Manufacture: Tanagra, Boiotia, Greece

    Description

    Girl seated on a square block which rests on the plinth of the statuette. She wears a high-belted peplos, whose overfold almost reaches her knees. The left corner of the overfold is pulled down by a circular weight. Her mantle is wrapped around her left forearm, and in her right hand she holds a wreath and a tympanon or drum. Her hair is done in the fashion known as the lampadion, or little torch, in which a bow of curls is tied on top of her head. Her attributes characterize her as a participant at a religious festival or ceremony, perhaps for Cybele or Dionysos.
    The front half of the base has been broken and reattached, as has the right side of the block together with the wreath, tambourine, and some of the girl’s drapery. The head has been reattached but is certainly the original. Irregular cracks at the sides of the head reflect the original joining of separately molded front and rear sections. Rather coarse clay, olive (greenish brown) at the surface and red-brown in the core. White slip overall, flaked off in isolated spots. Traces of pink paint on lips; pupil of left eye painted blue; hair is dark gray. Hollow. Back, molded but undetailed, except for mantle wrapped around left arm, which is fully finished. The block on which the figure sits is open below and behind (Description from J. Herrmann in Uhlenbrock, The Coroplast’s Art, cat. no. 10).

    Provenance

    By 1902: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records: bought from a Greek in 1902); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, June 2, 1910, for $4,000.00 (this figure is the total price for MFA 10.159-10.230)

    Credit Line

    Julia Bradford Huntington James Fund and Museum purchase with funds donated by contribution

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 12.5 cm (4 15/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    10.230

    Medium or Technique

    Terracotta

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Seated dancer

    Roman
    Late Roman Imperial/Early Byzantine Period
    late 4th century A.D.

    Description

    Seated female dancer putting on her right slipper. She sits on a stool that is set on a rectangular base with lion headed supports. Hair, sleeve-cuffs and belt of short chiton, bracelets, slippers, top and lower rim of hassock, lion-head corner supports of base all in gold. Hollow cast.

    Provenance

    By 1968: with Mathias Komor, 19 East 71st Street, New York 21 (said to be from East Greece); purchased by MFA from Mathias Komor, May 14, 1969

    Credit Line

    Frederick Brown Fund

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 12 cm (4 3/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    69.72

    Medium or Technique

    Silver with gold details

    Not On View

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Sculpture

    More Info
  • Oil flask (lekythos) with a woman working wool

    Greek
    Early Classical Period
    about 480–470 B.C.
    the Brygos Painter

    Place of Manufacture: Greece, Attica, Athens

    Description

    An elegant woman is seated at her wool basket (kalathos). She wears earrings, bracelets on both arms, a diadem, and an Ionic chiton and himation. She has an elaborate hairstyle, with part of her hair tied up in a bun, and long strands pulled down in the front. She pulls a long strip of wool out of a basket on ground before her. A hair-bag (sakkos) and mirror are hung up in field. The mirror is decorated with a head in profile drawn in outline, which probably represents a relief on the back of the mirror. The object hanging off her chair may be a wool-carder. Above her in the field is the Greek inscription: “the girl [is pretty])” (HE PAIS KALE).

    Inscription

    "The girl [is pretty])" (HE PAIS [KALE]). ΗΕΠΑΙS

    Provenance

    By 1912: with Edward Perry Warren (according to Warren's records: from Gela); purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren, January 2, 1913, for $18,948.70 (this figure is the total price for MFA 13.186-13.245)

    Credit Line

    Francis Bartlett Donation of 1912

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Caskey-Beazley, Attic Vase Paintings (MFA), no. 029; Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 117.

    Dimensions

    Height: 33.2 cm (13 1/16 in.)

    Accession Number

    13.189

    Medium or Technique

    Ceramic, Red Figure

    On View

    Greek Archaic Gallery (Gallery 113)

    Collections

    The Ancient World

    Classifications

    Vessels

    More Info
  • Portrait of a Woman with a Pearl Necklace

    probably 1485–1495
    Lorenzo Costa (Italian (Ferrarese), about 1460–1535)

    Description

    Provenance

    By 1883, Mary Rich (Mrs. Thomas O.) Richardson (d. 1924), Boston and Newport, RI [see note 1]; 1925, bequest of Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 4, 1925) NOTES: [1] She first lent the painting to the MFA in 1883.

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Thomas O. Richardson

    Details

    Dimensions

    44.1 x 33.9 cm (17 3/8 x 13 3/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    25.227

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Italian Renaissance Gallery (Gallery 206)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • Portrait of a Woman Wearing a Gold Chain

    1634
    Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669)

    Description

    As a young painter newly arrived in Amsterdam, Rembrandt rapidly gained fame for his stylish portraits of Dutch burghers. Paired images of couples were common in the Netherlands; this painting and its companion, MFA Object No. 93.1475, show an unidentified husband and wife. Rembrandt captures the viewer’s attention with his vivid presentation of the woman’s engaging personality and the dazzling rendering of her multi-layered lace collar and gold chain. Rembrandt’s technique was already daring; he has scratched the highlights of his subject’s curly hair into the wet paint with the butt end of his brush.

    Inscription

    Upper right: R E M[...] / 16[...]

    Provenance

    Baron François-Florentin-Achille de Seillière (b. 1813 - d. 1873) [see note 1]; by descent to his daughter, Anne Alexandrine Jeanne Jeanne Marguérite Seillière (b. 1839 - d. 1905), Princess Sagan, Paris; 1889, sold by Princess Sagan to Durand-Ruel, Paris [see note 2]. 1889, Cottier and Co., London and New York [see note 3]; sold by Cottier to Frederick Lothrop Ames (b. 1835 - d. 1893), Boston; by descent to his widow, Rebecca (Mrs. Frederick L.) Ames (b. 1838 - d. 1905), Boston; 1893, gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 12, 1893) NOTES: [1] First published as in the Seillière collection by C. Vosmaer, "Rembrandt: sa vie et ses oeuvres" (The Hague, 1877), p. 503; also see Alfred von Wurzbach, "Rembrandt - Galerie" (Stuttgart, 1886), p. 75, no. 320. [2] "Current News in the Fine Arts," New York Times, December 24, 1893, p. 13. [3] The Studio, n.s., vol. 4, no. 11 (October, 1889), p. 176.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Mrs. Frederick L. Ames, in the name of Frederick L. Ames

    Details

    Catalogue Raisonné

    Bredius 346; RRP C 73

    Dimensions

    69.5 x 53 cm (27 3/8 x 20 7/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    93.1474

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on panel

    On View

    Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (Gallery 242)

    Collections

    Europe

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Self Portrait

    1830
    Sarah Goodridge (American, 1788–1853)

    Description

    In this miniature self portrait, Sarah Goodridge (sometimes spelled Goodrich) depicted herself staring out of the composition with a poised directness, implying confidence in herself and her artistic abilities. According to the artist’s sister Eliza, who also became a miniature painter, Sarah began studying art by reading a book on drawing and painting. In 1805 she moved to the Boston area where she took drawing lessons, but it was only after she worked with an unidentified miniature painter from Hartford, Connecticut, that she began experimenting with painting in this medium. Goodridge opened a studio in Boston in 1820 and perfected her artistic skills by studying with the leading American portraitist of her time, Gilbert Stuart. Although Stuart specialized in large-scale works in oil, he purportedly painted one of his only miniatures (General Henry Knox, about 1820, Worcester Art Museum) as a demonstration piece for Goodridge.
    This self portrait demonstrates Goodridge’s characteristic realism, with every detail-down to the tiny wrinkles around her eyes-painstakingly delineated. The artist’s evident self-assuredness was well-warranted. By 1830 she had become one of the leading miniaturists in Boston, executing as many as two paintings a week and supporting herself and her family through her art. She received commissions from such famous individuals as Daniel Webster, General Henry Lee, and her teacher, Gilbert Stuart, and exhibited her miniatures at the annual exhibitions of the Boston Athenaeum between 1827 and 1835. Such accomplishments were truly remarkable in the antebellum American art world, in which talented women were rarely given the opportunity to achieve such levels of success.

    This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

    Provenance

    The artist; Samuel E. Appleton, Reading, Mass., a relative of the artist; to Miss Harriet Sarah Walker; to MFA, 1895, gift of Miss Harriet Sarah Walker.

    Credit Line

    Gift of Miss Harriet Sarah Walker

    Details

    Dimensions

    9.52 x 6.73 cm (3 3/4 x 2 5/8 in.)

    Accession Number

    95.1424

    Medium or Technique

    Watercolor on ivory

    Not On View

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

    More Info
  • Caritas

    1894–95
    Abbott Handerson Thayer (American, 1849–1921)

    Description

    Abbott Handerson Thayer was one of the best-known artists in the United States during the 1890s. His art, often inspired by the Italian Renaissance and classical antiquity, fulfilled the aspirations of a country seeking to establish itself on an international stage as the new Rome. With large public buildings in classical styles, with murals, and with allegorical representations like Caritas, American artists created an image of strength and confidence that came to characterize the American Renaissance.
    Thayer first studied painting in Boston and Brooklyn, then traveled to Paris in 1875 to train at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He based his career in New York but produced much of his work in the summer studios he kept, first in South Woodstock, Connecticut, and then in Dublin, New Hampshire. The model for the main figure in Caritas was Elise Pumpelly, daughter of a well-known Harvard geologist, who also summered in Dublin and posed frequently for Thayer. The artist idealized her by dressing her in a classical Greek chiton, using its long columnar folds to give the impression of stability and strength. The two children, innocent and trustful, seem embodiments of natural purity. The setting is enlivened by Thayer’s opalescent strokes of paint, flickers of light green and blue that seem to vibrate with the freshness of spring.

    An intensely spiritual man, Thayer sought to imbue his paintings with the moral principles of his age, hoping to communicate such abstract ideals as virtue, beauty, and truth. In 1893 (along with ElihuVedder [06.2430]and John LaFarge [20.1873]), Thayer had been commissioned to paint a mural for the art museum at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, an allegorical composition symbolizing the city of Florence. That mural, depicting a winged woman with outstretched arms that protect two children, may have inspired Caritas. The image was a traditional representation of the virtue Charity (caritas in Latin), and the title became associated with this painting when it was first exhibited in Philadelphia in 1895. Thayer later wrote to the MFA asking to change it, explaining that he felt “Spring” or “Morning” would be more appropriate; [1]in 1899 he wrote again, telling the Museum’s director that he detested the picture and asking to trade it for another.[2]

    Despite the artist’s continued protestations, Caritas was highly admired from the time of its first exhibition and won a large prize in Philadelphia. When it was first shown in Boston in 1897, a group of local painters and collectors raised the funds to buy Caritas for the MFA. They explained that they felt it was of utmost importance that the finest modern works by America’s leading contemporary artists should be represented in the Museum’s collections.

    Notes
    1. Abbott Handerson Thayer to Charles Greeley Loring, December 15, [no year], curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
    2. Abbott Handerson Thayer to Charles Greeley Loring, December 13, 1899, curatorial files, Department of Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    This text was adapted from Elliot Bostwick Davis et al., American Painting [http://www.mfashop.com/9020398034.html], MFA Highlights (Boston: MFA Publications, 2003).

    Inscription

    Lower right: Abbott H. Thayer

    Provenance

    1897, sold by the artist to the MFA for $8,000. (Accession Date: April 15, 1897)

    Credit Line

    Warren Collection—William Wilkins Warren Fund and contributions

    Details

    Dimensions

    216.53 x 140.33 cm (85 1/4 x 55 1/4 in.)

    Accession Number

    97.199

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Jan and Warren Adelson Gallery (Gallery 221)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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  • La Marguerite

    1853
    William Morris Hunt (American, 1824–1879)

    Description

    Inscription

    Lower left: WMH/1853. [WMH in monogram]

    Provenance

    1954, sold by the artist to Martin Brimmer (1830-1896), Boston; 1896, by descent to his wife, Mary Ann Timmins Brimmer (1827-1906); 1906, bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 8, 1906)

    Credit Line

    Bequest of Mrs. Martin Brimmer

    Details

    Dimensions

    116.84 x 90.17 cm (46 x 35 1/2 in.)

    Accession Number

    06.2429

    Medium or Technique

    Oil on canvas

    On View

    Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

    Collections

    Americas

    Classifications

    Paintings

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