Wildflower

  • Jonathan Scott Hartley, Wildflower, 1880, terra cotta, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1986.5

Luce Center Label

This sculpture captures the childlike innocence of a little girl looking affectionately at the viewer with a slight smile and sidelong gaze. She lives up to her name with the flowers that decorate her shawl and the bottom of the bust. Jonathan Scott Hartley modeled her smooth skin to contrast with the rough textures of her hair and clothing. He created the work in terra-cotta, or fired clay, which gives it a reddish-orange hue that contrasts sharply with white marble sculptures. Terra-cotta statues were popular with middle-class Americans because they were more affordable than marble or bronze pieces. In this case, terra-cotta seems appropriate for a portrait of a peasant girl.

Title
Wildflower
Artist
Date
1880
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
20 1/4 x 10 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (51.4 x 26.4 x 21.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
terra cotta
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure female – child – bust
Object Number
1986.5
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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