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Portrait of a Lady by Thomas Wilmer Dewing / American Art
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Portrait of a Lady

ca. 1895 Thomas Wilmer Dewing Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1851 Died: New York, New York 1938 oil on canvas 24 x 20 in. (60.9 x 50.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of John Gellatly 1929.6.34 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 6A



Hear more about
Portrait of a Lady
from American Art staff



Hear more about
Portrait of a Lady
from American Art staff



Luce Center Label

Mollie Chatfield came to be known as a classic “Dewing girl,” a type described in a Boston paper as “intellectual enough to be worthy of Boston, aristocratic enough to be worthy of Philadelphia, well dressed enough to be a New Yorker but seldom pretty enough to evoke the thought of Baltimore.” Thomas Wilmer Dewing showed her with a flirtatious sideward glance, lips slightly parted, and one hand resting self-consciously over her breast. This provocative pose hints at the romantic relationship between artist and model. Dewing’s patron Charles Lang Freer helped the artist keep his affair with Chatfield hidden from his wife, Maria Oakey Dewing. (Hobbs, Beauty Reconfigured: The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing, 1996)

Keywords

Portrait female - unidentified - bust

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas