Portrait of a Woman

Media - 1984.139.1 - SAAM-1984.139.1_1 - 81416
Copied George Catlin, Portrait of a Woman, ca. 1825-1830, oil on canvas, 19 7814 in. (50.535.6 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David C. Morse, 1984.139.1
Free to use

Artwork Details

Portrait of a Woman
ca. 1825-1830
19 7814 in. (50.535.6 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David C. Morse
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Portrait
  • Portrait female — unidentified
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.