Summer

Thomas Wilmer Dewing’s paintings of elegant women evoked an exclusive world of beauty and refined taste. From 1885 until 1905, Dewing was a key figure in the artist colony at Cornish, New Hampshire, which included Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Abbott Thayer. They agreed that art and beauty offered a higher life” for an age in which Darwin’s theories challenged Christian beliefs and urban industrialization disrupted life’s natural rhythms. Summer shows women in evening gowns theatrically posed in nature and conveys the Cornishite’s” attitude that life should be a chain of beautiful moments. Every summer, Dewing orchestrated twilight picnics and participated in theatrical performances with fellow artists and writers in the woods of Cornish. (Pyne, Art and the Higher Life: Painting and Evolutionary Thought in Nineteenth-century America, 1996)

“… like Dewing’s art, [his models] help to improve our taste and manners, render our costumes and surroundings more picturesque, and our life softer and more agreeable, in one word more beautiful.” Sadakichi Hartmann, Thomas Wilmer Dewing,” Art Critic I, January 1894

Title
Summer
Artist
Date
ca. 1890
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
42 1854 14 in. (107.0137.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of William T. Evans

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape – season – summer
  • Figure group – female
Object Number
1909.7.21
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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