Portrait of a Young Woman

  • Edward Harrison May, Portrait of a Young Woman, 1862, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Thomas W. Evans Collection, 1983.101.7

Luce Center Label

In this painting of an unknown young woman, Edward Harrison May used soft brushstrokes and muted colors to emphasize her dreamy expression. The girl’s tilted head, wide eyes, and slightly parted lips create an idealized image that is both classical and melancholy. Her dark hair and rich green dress emphasize the porcelain skin of her bare throat, reinforcing the nineteenth-century idea of women as fragile creatures.

Title
Portrait of a Young Woman
Artist
Date
1862
On View
Dimensions
24 x 16 3/4 in. (60.9 x 42.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Thomas W. Evans Collection

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait female – unidentified – bust
Object Number
1983.101.7
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI