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Wildflower

1880 Jonathan Scott Hartley Born: Albany, New York 1845 Died: New York, New York 1912 terra cotta 20 1/4 x 10 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (51.4 x 26.4 x 21.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1986.5 Not currently on view


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This sculpture captures the childlike innocence of a little girl looking affectionately at the viewer with a slight smile and sidelong gaze. She lives up to her name with the flowers that decorate her shawl and the bottom of the bust. Jonathan Scott Hartley modeled her smooth skin to contrast with the rough textures of her hair and clothing. He created the work in terra-cotta, or fired clay, which gives it a reddish-orange hue that contrasts sharply with white marble sculptures. Terra-cotta statues were popular with middle-class Americans because they were more affordable than marble or bronze pieces. In this case, terra-cotta seems appropriate for a portrait of a peasant girl.

Keywords

Figure female - child - bust

sculpture

ceramic - terra cotta

About Jonathan Scott Hartley

Born: Albany, New York 1845 Died: New York, New York 1912

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Jonathan Scott Hartley

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