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The Figurine

1921 William M. Paxton Born: Baltimore, Maryland 1869 Died: Newton, Massachusetts 1941 oil on canvas 18 1/8 x 15 in. (45.9 x 38.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design 1951.10.8 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 15B

Luce Center Label

The Figurine illustrates the vogue for Asian decorative wares that informed American collecting tastes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Here, a Chinese blue-and-white jar is shown alongside a Chinese figurine; a maid delicately cleans the glass encasing the figurine. Paxton’s compositions often portray women in beautiful interiors. The light source from the left highlighting the woman’s rosy complexion, combined with the sensitive attention to detail, recall the works of the seventeenth-century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer.


Architecture Interior - domestic - living room

Figure female - waist length

Object - art object - sculpture

Object - other - vase


paint - oil

fabric - canvas