Musée No:379.013Regular price $32.27
Portrait of A Lady
Artist: Thomas Wilmer Dewing
Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851 – 1938) was an American painter working at the turn of the 20th century. Schooled in Paris at the Académie Julian, Dewing was noted for his figure paintings of aristocratic women. By the late 1880s Dewing had formed his basic style and subject matter - elegant, refined women painted in a soft blurred style with a very limited colour palette and placed in either simple interiors or outdoors. He drew inspiration from the paintings of the Dutch artist Vermeer, James A. M. Whistler and the English artist Albert Moore. He was a founding member of the Ten American Painters along with Franck Weston Benson and John Henry Twachtman (both featured in our collection). He taught at the Art Students League of New York. He was the husband of artist Maria Oakey Dewing, known for her flower paintings.
The sitter is Mollie Chatfield who came to be known as a classic “Dewing girl”, a type described in a Boston paper as “intellectual enough to be worthy of Boston, aristocratic enough to be worthy of Philadelphia, well dressed enough to be a New Yorker but seldom pretty enough to evoke the thought of Baltimore.” She was Dewing’s mistress hence perhaps the slightly flirtatious sideward glance. Dewing’s patron Charles Lang Freer helped the artist keep his affair hidden from his wife.