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Mary Abigail Willing Coale

1809 Thomas Sully Born: Horncastle, England 1783 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1872 oil on wood 28 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (73.2 x 60.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum George Buchanan Coale Collection 1926.6.4 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 1B


Luce Center Label

Thomas Sully painted Abigail Willing Coale with rosy cheeks, an alluring gaze, and supple white skin, which he accentuated with the low neckline of her gown. The artist painted her in a fur wrap that captures the color of her luminous gray-green eyes and softens the transition from the figure to the background. Sully, a skilled and successful portrait painter, wrote that “From long experience I know that resemblance in a portrait is essential; but no fault will be found with the artist, (at least by the sitter,) if he improve the appearance.”

Keywords

Portrait female - Coale, Mary Abigail Willing

painting

paint - oil

wood

About Thomas Sully

Born: Horncastle, England 1783 Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1872

More works in the collection by
Thomas Sully