Daniel Chester French (American, Exeter, New Hampshire 1850–1931 Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
Pastel on off-white wove paper
18 x 24 in. (45.7 x 61 cm)
Gift of Fenton L. B. Brown, 1980
Not on view
French's occasional forays into painting and drawing include a group of sensitively rendered pastel portraits of family and friends. This half-length likeness of May Dumont Potter (1864–1937), wife of French's frequent sculpture collaborator Edward Clark Potter, presents the sitter in a fashionable turquoise dress with puffed-and-gathered sleeves and a fichu collar. French skillfully blended the colors, working in a loose painterly manner on a pale blue-gray woven paper, now faded to off-white. He presented the portrait to Edward Potter in 1894, perhaps a gift of friendship following a period of intense collaboration on monumental outdoor sculptures for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago the previous year.
Inscription: [at lower left]: D. C. F. / to E. C. P. / 1894; [stamped on reverse]: EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE DE 1855 / MENTION HONORABLE / PAPIER, CARTON, CHASSIS, TOILES / ANTI-PONCE pour le Pastel / P. L. Brevete PARIS / MARQUE DEPOSEE