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Henry Brown Fuller
Illusions
before 1901
oil
70 3/8 x 45 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans



This robust woman is as thinly veiled as are references to her knowledge and wisdom. Withholding a crystal ball from the child's eager reach, she forestalls revealing a future that may bring disillusionment, sustaining his innocent view of the world a while longer. The artist probably used his wife Lucia Fairchild Fuller as a model. In the background is Mount Ascutny, a prominent landmark near the art colony in Cornish, New Hampshire, where Fuller painted.