Portrait of a Woman
Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796
Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872
oil on canvas 19 7/8 x 14 in. (50.5 x 35.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David C. Morse
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 4B
Luce Center Label
This woman may be George Catlin’s sister, Mary. In this portrait, she wears a decorative lace garment called a bertha and a colorful red shawl that help to soften her rather severe expression. Catlin had no formal training in portraiture, and the New York critic and painter William Dunlap labeled him “utterly incompetent.” Despite this unpromising beginning, Catlin went on to create his celebrated Indian Gallery, documenting the faces, personalities, and tribal rituals of Native Americans.
Portrait female - unidentified
paint - oil
fabric - canvas
paperboard - support added
About George Catlin
Born: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania 1796 Died: Jersey City, New Jersey 1872
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