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Thomas Wilmer Dewing
about 1895
42 1/2 x 36 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly

A trance-like solitude surrounds these two women, posed like muses in a setting suggestive of an arbor or classical ruin. In the late nineteenth century, music and painting were often linked as meditative experiences, and many of Dewing's works feature women sharing the companionship afforded by the liberal and fine arts, whether reading, playing music, or painting.