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Serviceman's Wife

ca.1942 Ivan G. Olinsky Born: Elizabethgrad, Russia 1878 Died: United States 1962 oil on canvas 36 x 30 1/8 in. (91.4 x 76.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design 1977.85 Not currently on view


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In Serviceman’s Wife, Ivan Olinsky painted a woman looking up expectantly, perhaps to greet her husband, who has just opened the door. Her skirt draws out the yellow of the pears in the background and her full lips match the apple’s rosy skin. The grays and blues of her shirt echo those of the white cloth on which the fruits rest. She is integrated into her environment as if she is simply one part of a still life. Olinsky specialized in idealized images of women, and his portraits were successful on the market, selling for up to $2,000 each in the 1920s. His work had grown even more popular by the 1940s, when he worked for the commercial firm Portraits, Inc. Critics noted that each of his women looked like “a hardy perennial despite her delicate air.” (Cummings, Olinsky, Faces of Change: The Art of Ivan G. Olinsky, 1878-1962, 1995)

Keywords

Figure female - knee length

Object - fruit - pear

Occupation - domestic - cooking

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Ivan G. Olinsky

Born: Elizabethgrad, Russia 1878 Died: United States 1962