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MFA Images: Romance

  • MFA Images: Romance - Slide

  • Celebrating Couple: General Jackson and his Lady

    about 1831

    Rev. Henry Young, American, active 1823–1831 American

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 25.9 x 19.2 cm (10 3/16 x 7 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Pen and watercolor on brown paper

    Classification

    Watercolors

    Accession Number

    56.751

    Collections

    Americas , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Early Italian Poets (study for titlepage)

    1861

    Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English, 1828–1882

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 14.7 x 8.9 cm (5 13/16 x 3 1/2 in.) Sheet: 17.5 x 10.9 cm (6 7/8 x 4 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Pen and brown ink on cream laid paper

    Classification

    Drawings

    Accession Number

    58.50

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Before the Battle

    1858, retouched in 1862

    Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English, 1828–1882

    Description
    Details

    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.)

    Medium

    Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper, mounted on canvas

    Classification

    Watercolors

    Accession Number

    12.1164

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Corfu: A Rainy Day

    1909

    John Singer Sargent, American, 1856–1925

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 36.7 x 54 cm (14 7/16 x 21 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Translucent watercolor, with touches of opaque watercolor, over graphite on paper

    Classification

    Watercolors

    Accession Number

    12.209

    Collections

    Americas , Prints and Drawings

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  • Cupid and Psyche

    about 1870

    Adolphe Braun, French, 1812–1877

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 47.0 x 37.5 cm (18 1/2 x 14 3/4 in.) Mount: 62.9 x 47.6 cm (24 3/4 x 18 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Photograph, carbon print

    Classification

    Photographs

    Accession Number

    1992.27

    Collections

    Europe , Photography

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  • The Lovers

    1913

    Käthe Kollwitz, German, 1867–1945 German

    Description

    Plaster model. Seated figure holds youth in lap.

    Details

    Dimensions

    74.29 x 45.72 x 48.26 cm (29 1/4 x 18 x 19 in.)

    Medium

    Plaster

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    58.390

    Collections

    Europe

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  • The Parting

    about 1840

    Artist Unidentified artist, American, 19th century

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 30.3 x 24.1 cm (11 15/16 x 9 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Watercolor and stencil with graphite on paper

    Classification

    Drawings

    Accession Number

    58.930

    Collections

    Prints and Drawings

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  • The Early Italian Poets (study for titlepage)

    1861

    Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English, 1828–1882

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 15.3 x 9.7 cm (6 x 3 13/16 in.) Sheet: 16.5 x 13.6 cm (6 1/2 x 5 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Pen and black ink over graphite on heavy cream wove paper

    Classification

    Drawings

    Accession Number

    58.51

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Dance at Bougival

    1883

    Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841–1919

    Description

    The open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris, were popular recreation spots for city dwellers, including the Impressionist painters. Renoir, who was primarily a figure painter, uses intense color and lush brushwork to heighten the sense of pleasure conveyed by the whirling couple who dominate the composition. The woman's face, framed by her red bonnet, is the focus of attention, both ours and her companion's.

    Details

    Dimensions

    181.9 x 98.1 cm (71 5/8 x 38 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    37.375

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Krishna and his favorite shelter from a storm

    about 1825

    Attributed to The Family of Nainsukh

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 29.7 x 21.1cm (11 11/16 x 8 5/16in.) Other (Image only): 16.9 x 24.4 cm (6 5/8 x 9 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    17.2614

    Collections

    Asia

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  • Lovers in a Landscape

    second half of 16th century

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    W: 9 x L: 18 cm (3 9/16 x 7 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Opaque watercolor on paper

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts

    Accession Number

    14.588

    Collections

    Asia

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  • Painter's Honeymoon

    about 1864

    Frederic, Lord Leighton, English, 1830–1896 English

    Description

    Love is equated with art in this romantic image which -- in its evocation of the past and its precise, controlled style -- epitomizes officially sanctioned academic practice in the late nineteenth century. Leighton, who was elected president of the Royal Academy in London in 1879, spent many years studying in Germany, France, and Italy. The composition and glowing color of Painter's Honeymoon reflect the influence of such sixteenth-century Venetian painters as Giorgione and Titian.

    Details

    Dimensions

    83.8 x 76.8 cm (33 x 30 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1981.258

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Promise of Spring

    1890

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

    Description

    Alma-Tadema's later works are often small-scale, sentimental images of young lovers. In Promise of Spring, he created a highly romanticized and lush setting through the use of color and detail. The arched branches and intricate blooms of the tree meet the curved bodies of the lovers below. This movement frames the outward gaze of the female figure, whose pose exudes a relaxed beauty. The painting also presents such subtle, classicizing details as the marble architectural elements and the ancient dress.

    Details

    Dimensions

    38.1 x 22.5 cm (15 x 8 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on panel

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    RES.39.94

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Boating Couple (said to be Aline Charigot and Renoir)

    about 1881

    Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French, 1841–1919

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 45.1 x 58.4 cm (17 3/4 x 23 in.)

    Medium

    Pastel on paper

    Classification

    Pastels

    Accession Number

    61.393

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • Lovers under an Umbrella in the Snow

    original design about 1766–67 (Meiwa 3–4); later copy?

    Artist Suzuki Harunobu, Japanese, 1725–1770

    Description

    MFA impressions: 21.4403 (Meiji reproduction?), 21.4530 (first state?)

    Details

    Dimensions

    Vertical chûban; 26.1 x 19.6 cm (10 1/4 x 7 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    21.4403

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Love Song (Le Chant d'Amour)

    1865

    Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, English, 1833–1898 English

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 54.9 x 77.7 cm (21 5/8 x 30 9/16 in.) Framed: 86.4 x 109.5 cm (34 x 43 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Transparent and opaque watercolor on paper

    Classification

    Watercolors

    Accession Number

    06.2432

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • New Year's Card: Modern Couple Dancing

    Atsuo, Japanese, dates unknown Japanese

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on coated card stock

    Classification

    Postcards

    Accession Number

    2002.1475

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

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  • New Year's Card: Dancing Couple

    S. Riyo, Japanese, dates unknown Japanese

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigments on card stock

    Classification

    Postcards

    Accession Number

    2002.1467

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

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  • Lovers (mithuna)

    13th century

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    15.9 x 7.6 cm (6 1/4 x 3 in.)

    Medium

    Ivory

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1987.622

    Collections

    Asia

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  • The Lovers

    about 1755

    Made at Longton Hall Manufactory, England

    Description

    A pair of dancers on a puce and green pedestal. Man in black hat. White waistcoat with red designs, gold edge and buttons. Yellow coat lined white, brownsleeves, puce cuffs and breeches. Black shoes yellow bows. White bodice gok d edge at neck, green braid, puce sleeves gokd bands and yellow cuffs. Red s carf on right shoulder and left hip yellow skirt, flowered white apron held inleft hand. Puce shoes.

    Details

    Dimensions

    26.67 cm (10 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Soft-paste porcelain

    Classification

    Ceramics , Porcelain

    Accession Number

    1988.917

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Scherzando

    1903

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

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    26.03 x 36.83 cm (10 1/4 x 14 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on panel

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    24.219

    Collections

    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.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Oil on panel

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    41.117

    Collections

    Europe

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  • King Menkaura (Mycerinus) and queen

    2490–2472 B.C.

    Description

    At twilight on January 10, 1910, a young boy beckoned George Reisner to the Menkaura Valley Temple. There, emerging from a robbers' pit into which they had been discarded were the tops of two heads, perfectly preserved and nearly life-size. This was the modern world's first glimpse of one of humankind's artistic masterworks, the statue of Menkaura and queen.

    The two figures stand side-by-side, gazing into eternity. He represents the epitome of kingship and the ideal human male form. She is the ideal female. He wears the nemes on his head, a long artificial beard, and a wraparound kilt with central tab, all of which identify him as king. In his hand he clasps what may be abbreviated forms of the symbols of his office. His high cheekbones, bulbous nose, slight furrows running diagonally from his nose to the corners of his mouth, and lower lip thrust out in a slight pout, may be seen on her as well, although her face has a feminine fleshiness, which his lacks. Traces of red paint remain on his face and black paint on her wig.

    His broad shoulders, taut torso, and muscular arms and legs, all modeled with subtlety and restraint, convey a latent strength. In contrast, her narrow shoulders and slim body, whose contours are apparent under her tight-fitting sheath dress, represent the Egyptian ideal of femininity. As is standard for sculptures of Egyptian men, his left foot is advanced, although all his weight remains on the right foot. Typically, Egyptian females are shown with both feet together, but here, the left foot is shown slightly forward. Although they stand together sharing a common base and back slab, and she embraces him, they remain aloof and share no emotion, either with the viewer or each other.

    Who is represented here? The base of the statue which is usually inscribed with the names and titles of the subject represented, was left unfinished and never received the final polish of most of the rest of the statue. Because it was found in Menkaura's Valley Temple and because it resembles other statues from the same findspot bearing his name, there is no doubt that the male figure is King Menkaura. Reisner suggested that the woman was Queen Kamerernebty II, the only of Menkaura's queens known by name. She, however, had only a mastaba tomb, while two unidentified queens of Menkaura had small pyramids. Others have suggested that she represents the goddess Hathor, although she exhibits no divine attributes. Because later kings are often shown with their mothers, still other scholars have suggested that the woman by Menkaura's side may be his mother. However, in private sculptures when a man and woman are shown together and their relationship is indicated, they are most often husband and wife. Because private sculpture is modeled after royal examples, this suggests that she is indeed one of Menkaura's queens, but ultimately, the name of the woman represented in this splendid sculpture may never be known.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm, 676.8 kg (56 x 22 1/2 x 21 3/4 in., 1492.1 lb.) Block (Wooden skirts and two top): 53.3 x 180 x 179.7 cm (21 x 70 7/8 x 70 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Greywacke

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    11.1738

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Couple with a Standing Screen

    about 1797 (Kansei 9)

    Artist Kitagawa Utamaro I, Japanese, (?)–1806

    Description

    MFA impressions: 18.308, 21.6610

    Details

    Dimensions

    Vertical ôban; 37.2 x 26 cm (14 5/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    18.308

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

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  • Mars and Venus

    about 1630

    Nicolas Poussin, French (active in Rome), 1594–1665 French

    Description

    Poussin was the foremost French painter of the seventeenth century, although he spent almost his entire career in Rome. His restrained and idealizing style, inspired by the art of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, influenced the course of French painting for three hundred years. This allegory of the triumph of love over war shows Mars, god of war, enraptured by Venus, goddess of love, while her attendant Cupids make playthings of his weapons and armor. In its harmonious landscape, warm tonalities, and sensuous mood, this early work demonstrates Poussin's deep admiration of painters of the Venetian Renaissance.

    Details

    Dimensions

    154.9 x 213.7 cm (61 x 84 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    40.89

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Haymaker and Sleeping Girl

    late 1780s

    Thomas Gainsborough, English, 1727–1788

    Description

    The existence of a preparatory drawing indicates that Gainsborough took particular pains with this composition. Although apparently about erotic desire, the painting also offers a deeper meditation on longing and regret. The young woman's pale skin and refined clothing suggest that she is not a country girl, whereas the hay in the youth's hat and rake reveal that he has paused in his labors. The young man is separated from the object of his desire by social class as well as by the fence; the terrier will soon bark and shatter the young man's idyllic reverie. Gainsborough Dupont, the artist's nephew and apprentice, chose this painting when offered any work in his uncle's studio.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 227.3 x 149.9 cm (89 1/2 x 59 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    53.2553

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Young Woman Resting in a Music Room

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

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1970.76

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Flora's Feast: A masque of flowers

    published 1889

    Walter Crane, English, 1845–1915

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 29.5 cm (11 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Illustrated book

    Classification

    Illustrated Books

    Accession Number

    1973.77

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Gerson Sisters

    1906

    Gertrude Käsebier, American, 1852–1934 American

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image/Sheet: 30.5 x 24.8 cm (12 x 9 3/4 in.) Mount: 35.9 x 28.2 cm (14 1/8 x 11 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Photograph, platinum print

    Classification

    Photographs

    Accession Number

    1973.455

    Collections

    Americas , Photography

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  • Girl in Satin Dress with Roses

    Artist Gertrude Käsebier, American, 1852–1934 American

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image/Sheet/Mount: 25.0 x 19.7 cm (9 13/16 x 7 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Photograph, gelatin silver print

    Classification

    Photographs

    Accession Number

    1973.473

    Collections

    Americas , Photography

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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.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1979.39

    Collections

    Americas

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  • Brides (from an unidentified series) of Wedding

    Artist Unknown, Japanese

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigments on card stock

    Classification

    Postcards

    Accession Number

    2002.19125

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

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  • Night on the El Train

    1918

    Edward Hopper, American, 1882–1967

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Platemark: 19.1 x 20.3 cm (7 1/2 x 8 in.) Sheet: 34 x 39.5 cm (13 3/8 x 15 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Etching

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    38.748

    Collections

    Americas , Prints and Drawings

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  • Falbalas et fanfreluches. Almanach des modes présentes, passées...

    1922–26

    Illustrated by George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description

    Paris: Meynial [1922-1926]

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 25.4 x 17.3 x 3.1 cm (10 x 6 13/16 x 1 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Illustrated book with 60 hand-colored etching and aquatints, plus original wrappers

    Classification

    Illustrated Books

    Accession Number

    64.789

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

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  • The Stolen Kiss

    1819

    Benjamin West, American, 1738–1820

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    124.78 x 160.65 cm (49 1/8 x 63 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    The Stolen Kiss

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    30.494

    Collections

    Americas

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  • Portrait of a Young Married Couple

    about 1621–22

    Jacob Jordaens, Flemish, 1593–1678 Flemish

    Description

    Although the sitters in this portrait are unidentified, in all likelihood they were husband and wife. The painting has the typical format of a seventeenth-century marriage portrait, and the ivy clinging to the architecture behind them is a symbol of marital love and fidelity. Although the figures' poses suggest an affectionate connection to one another, their faces turn to the spectator.

    Details

    Dimensions

    124.5 x 92.4 cm (49 x 36 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on panel

    Classification

    Panels

    Accession Number

    17.3232

    Collections

    Europe

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  • Martha Pickman Rogers in Her Wedding Gown

    mid-19th century

    Southworth and Hawes, American, 1843–62 American

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image (rounded corners): 13.3 x 10.0 cm (5 1/4 x 3 15/16 in.) Plate: 16.4 x 13.4 cm (6 7/16 x 5 1/4 in.) Closed case: 18.1 x 15.0 x 2.3 cm (7 1/8 x 5 7/8 x 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Photograph, daguerreotype

    Classification

    Photographs

    Accession Number

    64.1910

    Collections

    Americas , Photography

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  • "Rugby - Costume tailleur de Redfern," plate 39 from...

    April 1914

    George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description

    Tailleur de Redfern en cheviot neigeuse, orné de parements et de brandebourgs noirs. Le petit gilet et le col de la veste sont en ottoman.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.21.9

    Collections

    Europe

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  • "Espérez - Robe du soir, de Worth," plate 48 from...

    July 1922

    George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description

    De Worth, une robe du soir en mousseline cirée noire, brodée de perles corail et or, avec grand motif de pierres précieuses.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.51.8

    Collections

    Europe

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  • "La Premiere Imprudence - Robe du soir, de Beer," plate...

    February 1921

    George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description

    Voici une robe du soir, de Beer, en charmeuse verte brodée de jais blanc et de jais noir.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Engraving with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.37.7

    Collections

    Europe

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  • "La Loge," plate X from Modes et Manières...

    1914

    Artist George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description

    Couple seated in theater box (woman in white dress, pink turban with aigrettes), woman in turban and evening coat in background. Caption: "Que son mari appuie au rebord de la loge son gros poing gante de blanc....."

    Details

    Dimensions

    27.6 x 18 cm (10 7/8 x 7 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Photo offset lithograph with hand-coloring by stencil (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    DT850.063.1

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  • "Le Départ pour le Casino - Manteau du soir, de...

    September 1923

    George Barbier, French, 1882–1932 French

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.58.3

    Collections

    Europe

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  • A Pavane

    1897

    Edwin Austin Abbey, American, 1852–1911 American

    Description

    Hired by his friend the architect Stanford White, Abbey painted A Pavane as an overmantel for the dining room of the prominent New York publisher and diplomat Whitelaw Reid. Reid’s elaborate apartment, the most luxurious in a suite called the Villard Houses (at 50th Street and Madison Avenue in New York City), had been built in the mid-1880s by the architectural firm McKim, Mead,& White, and several rooms were being renovated under White’s supervision. The dining room, some seventy feet (21.3 meters) long, was baronial in style; its Renaissance-inspired decorative scheme was well suited to the house’s palazzo-like exterior and to the social standing and ambition of both the apartment’s original owner, Henry Villard, and that of Reid. Abbey’s canvas was designed to fit over a dark pink marble fireplace and mantel designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens with his brother Louis; both men were sculptors and friends of White’s. Abbey was a key figure in a group of cosmopolitan artists that included not only White and the Saint-Gaudenses but also, among others, the Americans John Singer Sargent [link to ch. 8] and Francis Millet [1981.77] and the Anglo-Dutch painter Laurence Alma-Tadema [17.3239, 41.117]. Abbey was well known for his carefully detailed and romanticized historical scenes [2008.2]. By the time he began A Pavane, Abbey was also earning great praise as a decorative painter, acclaimed for his series of murals, The Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail, for the Boston Public Library, a building that had also been designed by McKim, Mead, &White.
    Extensive correspondence documents the course of the Reid commission as Abbey sought, through White, to discern his client’s wishes and to determine the physical parameters for his work. The Reids hoped the painting would brighten a dark room and White had initially proposed a festive banqueting scene, but Abbey offered them an alternative: a display of dancers. By mid-December 1895, Whitelaw Reid told White that he and his wife Elisabeth Mills Reid had “been gradually absorbing the spirit of the two sketches, and trying to make up our minds . . . I like the idea of a dancing scene quite as well as I should that of a banquet . . . [and] having the rashness and self-confidence of my sex, I am inclined to believe [Mrs. Reid] will like it as well as I do when it is finished.” [1]

    Abbey’s final composition of dancing couples speaks to the room’s purpose as a place of entertainment and social interaction. His subject, a pavane, a court dance of the Renaissance with stylized movements and stately rhythms, would have complemented the dignified architecture of the room. The rich deep colors were planned to stand out against the marble and dark wood of the fireplace surround, while the luxurious backdrop of patterned cloth enhanced with gold paint would have shimmered in the evening light. Abbey made multiple drawings and oil sketches in his attempt to devise a satisfactory arrangement (these are now in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut). Working in his studio in the rural village of Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, where he had lived since 1891, he settled upon a frieze of figures, bounded by topiary trees, in a shallow space that would have appeared to recede from the mantel. Abbey employed his customary attention to detail, studying with great care the particular aspects of historical clothing and the positions and gestures of each of the dancers. The herringbone pattern of the tiled floor is rendered with painstaking precision, its angles carefully calculated and then disguised with the reflective sheen of figures and fabrics.

    A Pavane is an easel painting, an independent canvas fitted in (but not attached) to its architectural setting. Abbey, in New York in the spring of 1897 to attend to the illness of his wife’s mother, made several final adjustments to his canvas and sent it to the annual exhibition of the Society of American Artists, where a critic for The Collector praised it as “the finest thing” in the show.[2] The writer for the New York Times concurred, adding, “in loftiness of sentiment, nobility of conception and treatment, richness of color, movement, and expression, and gracefulness of the figures and ease of drawing, this superb work is altogether delightful. One almost hears the tinkling of the mandolins.” [3]After the exhibition closed, the canvas was delivered to the Reids, who paid Abbey $5,000 for it. It remained in situ at least until the early 1930s when, following the death of Elisabeth Reid, the apartment was slowly dismantled and closed. The painting stayed in the Reid family until 1951, when Helen Rogers Reid, widow of Whitelaw Reid’s son Ogden, sold it at public auction. The original room and fireplace are intact and extant, now part of the New York Palace Hotel.

    Notes
    1. Whitelaw Reid to Stanford White, December 14, 1895, roll 2073, Saarinen Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
    2. The Collector, April 1, 1897, 163.
    3. New York Times, March 27, 1897, BR15.

    Erica E. Hirshler

    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 101.6 x 261.6 cm (40 x 103 in.) Framed: 114.9 x 275.9 cm (45 1/4 x 108 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    2004.238

    Collections

    Americas

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  • "Une honnête femme ne reçoit d'argent que de son...

    May 1914

    Charles Martin, French, 1884–1934 French

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.22.11

    Collections

    Europe

    Not On View
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  • "Nous Sommes a l'Heure," advertisement from...

    May 1920

    Edouard Halouze, French French

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.29.12

    Collections

    Europe

    Not On View
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  • "A. Janesich, Joaillier," advertisement from Gazette du...

    May 1920

    Edouard Halouze, French French

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Photomechanical lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.29.14

    Collections

    Europe

    Not On View
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  • "Les Amants de Torquate," plate 34 from Gazette du Bon...

    May 1921

    Charles Martin, French, 1884–1934 French

    Description

    Les amants de Torquate: L'amant est vêtu un peu à la façon d'un "pelotari" (dame!), l'amante habillé d'organdina, qui va bien à la jeunesse et à la saison printanière régnant continuellement à Torquate, île fortunée.

    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Engraving with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.40.2

    Collections

    Europe

    Not On View
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  • "L'Étoile du Berger - Manteau de fourrure, de Max-A....

    May 1924

    Charles Martin, French, 1884–1934 French

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Lithograph with hand-applied color (pochoir)

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts , Books

    Accession Number

    2004.64.1

    Collections

    Europe

    Not On View
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  • Dante and Beatrice, study for The Rose Garden

    before 1861

    Artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English, 1828–1882

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Sheet: 17.8 x 13.3 cm (7 x 5 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Graphite on heavy cream wove paper

    Classification

    Drawings

    Accession Number

    58.49

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

    Not On View
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  • Palace scenes with figures

    Third Quarter of Eighteenth Century

    Anonymous Court Painter

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Image: 40 x 37 cm (15 3/4 x 14 9/16 in.) Overall: 49.6 x 41.6 cm (19 1/2 x 16 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Ink, color, and gold on silk

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    2002.602.1-12

    Collections

    Asia

    Not On View
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  • Pair statue of Ptahkhenuwy and his wife

    2465–2323 B.C.

    Description

    Private sculpture of the Old Kingdom copied royal sculpture: the poses, youthful body forms, and the wife's embrace of the husband in this private sculpture is the same as those of King Menkaura and his queen in their dyad. The man here is identified by an inscription painted on the base in black paint as Ptahkhenwy, supervisor of palace retainers. He stands with his left leg forward in the traditional male pose, and his partner, her name no longer legible in the inscription and identified now only as "his wife whom he loved," stands beside him with both feet together.

    Most Egyptian sculpture was painted, but all too often the paint has not survived. Fortunately, such is not the case with this statue. The husband's skin is red ochre, the traditional color for men, whose work outside would have left them sunburned. The wife's yellow-ochre skin reflects the traditional role of women inside the house. Both their facial features are the same. Neither is a true portrait, but rather an idealized likeness of how each wished to be remembered for eternity. Negative space between the couple and the base is painted dark gray.

    The garments of the pair are white, to reflect the color of the undyed linen from which they were made. She wears a V-neck sheath dress that was customary for a woman of the Old Kingdom. It clings so tightly here that it reveals every aspect of her body beneath. Walking would have been impossible. Surviving examples show that in reality, such garments were much looser. He wears a knee-length, wraparound kilt, the most common garment for men.

    Jewelry added bright splashes of color. Both wear broadcollars, brightly painted to imitate semiprecious stone or faience. She wears two anklets and a bracelet in addition, making up a parure that is strikingly similar to actual jewelry found in Old Kingdom tombs. His black wig is composed of curls cut in rows. Natural black hair peeks out from beneath her black wig, which is parted in the center and reaches to shoulder level.

    The statue was found in the serdab of the couple's tomb and was one of the first objects to be excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition. The excitement of the Museum Trustees when it first arrived in Boston played a key role in their decision to commit to funding further excavations.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height: 70.14 cm (27 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Painted limestone

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    06.1876

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Relief of heads of a man and a woman

    760–525 B.C.

    Description

    Limestone slab with upper portion of man and woman facing right, in low relief. Traces of color. In front of male head [=unable to enter mark=]; and behind it [=unable to enter mark=].

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 14.7 x 39.4 cm (5 13/16 x 15 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Architectural elements , Relief

    Accession Number

    54.47

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Roundel with busts of a man and a woman

    about A.D. 250–270

    Description

    The man is in a toga contabulata with a rotulus or scroll in his left hand. The woman wears a billowing cloak and a tunic and places her left arm and hand around the shoulders of the man. There is no inscription, little weathering, some encrustation.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 46 x 48 cm, 39.9 kg (18 1/8 x 18 7/8 in., 88 lb.) Framed (Aluminum circular wall L-frame /one securement top wall clip): 3.6 x 40.6 x 5.7 cm (1 7/16 x 16 x 2 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Marble, probably from the Greek island of Paros

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    1990.242

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Sarcophagus and lid with husband and wife

    350–300 B.C.

    Description

    The top of the cover takes the form of a bed with pillows, and a man and his wife embrace under a large sheet. She wears a complex earring and he a bracelet of twisted strands. There is no costume visible.

    On the long side below the man is a frieze with four pairs of Greeks and Amazons in combat. A bead-and-reel molding appears above, and simple pilasters frame the scenes on the corners. The other side, the long panel below the woman, has only a plain fillet molding above, suggesting it was the back of the sarcophagus proper. The frieze features two pairs of horsemen and foot soldiers in combat, with a warrior in fighting pose on foot in the center.

    On the left end (facing the frieze with Greeks and Amazons), two lions bring down a bull. The bead-and-reel molding is seen above. On the right end, two griffins are tearing into a fallen horse.

    The condition is, generally speaking, excellent, with some traces of a dark brown deposit and an overall light brown to yellow patina.

    The sarcophagus is inscribed for Thanchvil Tarnai and her husband Larth Tetnies, son of Arnth Tetnies and Ramtha Vishnai.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 93.3 x 117.4 x 213.8 cm (36 3/4 x 46 1/4 x 84 3/16 in.)

    Medium

    Travertine

    Classification

    Tomb equipment , Models

    Accession Number

    86.145a-b

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • Sarcophagus and lid with portraits of husband and wife

    Late 4th–early 3rd century B.C.

    Description

    The cover of the sarcophagus shows a man and woman lying nearly facing each other on a bed with pillows and a large sheet wrapped about them.The portrait of the man is of particular interest to the study of Etruscan (and Early Roman) portraiture, foreshadowing in many respects the Roman Republican portraiture which would, in considerable degree, devlop from the Etruscan form. The woman wears a double fillet or braids around her hair, a heart-shaped earring, and a long chiton with sleeves. It is difficult to tell what, if any, clothing the man was wearing, unless details of costume were added in paint. The pediments at each end of the lid have three ideal, female(?) heads in relief in rosettes.

    The front of the body shows a ceremony, interpreted by some as the couple's marriage and by others as their reunion in the afterlife. They clasp hands in the center, or (more precisely) he places his hand around her wrist, while he also holds a knotted staff in the left hand. Four attendants follow on either side. Those on the left comprise (from center to corner) a man with a tall staff, a lantern or jar suspended from it; a woman with a tray on her head and a pitcher in her lowered right hand; a woman with a large fan or flabellum and a situla in her lowered right hand; and a woman with a lyre and plectron. On the right appear a young man with a chair; another with a small stick or scepter; a third with a curved horn; and a woman with a wreath and double flutes.

    On the left end, two women, parasol over their heads, ride in a cart drawn by two mules driven by a male attendant. A winged spirit of death waves two snakes at them. On the right end, a bearded magistrate mounts a two-horse chariot, attended by a man with the pastoral staff or lituus.

    Since the man on the major front panel wears the Greek himation, it has been suggested that he is the heroized deceased, leading his wife to the underworld. If such be the case, she may have survived him to have her own separate procession on the left end, and the scene on the front thus may be taken as a symbolic "marriage" ceremony, the union with death and life in the underworld rather than merely in life on earth.

    The lid is broken across at the couple's legs and has been rejoined, with two small pieces missing. The body has cracks. There are minor chips and abrasions, but the general condition is excellent. The surfaces have a crusty brown patina.

    Details

    Dimensions

    Height : 88 cm (34 5/8 in.); width: 73 cm ( 28 3/4 in.); length: 210 cm (82 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Volcanic tuff

    Classification

    Tomb equipment , Coffins, Sarcophagi

    Accession Number

    1975.799

    Collections

    The Ancient World

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  • A Young Man Offering a Cup of Wine to a Girl

    16th century

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    Overall: 33.8 x 23.9 cm (13 5/16 x 9 7/16 in.) Image: 20.8 x 15.1 cm (8 3/16 x 5 15/16 in.)

    Medium

    Album leaf; painting and calligraphy on paper

    Classification

    Books and manuscripts

    Accession Number

    14.595

    Collections

    Asia

    Not On View
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  • Young Woman and Man on the Train (from an unidentified series)

    Artist Unknown, Japanese

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

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

    Medium

    Color lithograph; ink and metallic pigment on card stock

    Classification

    Postcards

    Accession Number

    2002.2532

    Collections

    Asia , Prints and Drawings

    Not On View
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  • Musical Comedy - Dancing

    1912

    Charles Demuth, American, 1883–1935

    Description
    Details

    Dimensions

    22.5 x 14.6cm (8 7/8 x 5 3/4in.)

    Medium

    Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper

    Classification

    Watercolors

    Accession Number

    66.223

    Collections

    Americas , Prints and Drawings

    Not On View
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  • "Le Baiser du Porion" (Two lovers)

    Armand Louis Rassenfosse, Belgian, 1862–1934 Belgian

    Description
    Details

    Medium

    Intaglio (color printing)

    Classification

    Prints

    Accession Number

    M21693

    Collections

    Europe , Prints and Drawings

    Not On View
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