Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon (Virginia Purdy, died 1919), 1897
Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish, 1860–1920)
Oil on canvas; 67 1/4 x 42 1/2 in. (170.8 x 108 cm)
Signed and dated (lower right): Zorn / 1897
Gift of Mrs. Walter Rathbone Bacon, in memory of her husband, 1917 (17.204)
Like the other portraitists whose work hangs on this wall, Zorn acquired an international clientele that included prominent Americans—from socialites to financiers and presidents. He painted this portrait in 1897 during his second visit to America. Mrs. Bacon, the wife of the president of B&O Southwestern Railroad, is depicted with broad, fluid brushwork—a nod to Impressionism—that suggests a spontaneous moment. According to the sitter's husband, both Sargent and Whistler admired this portrait when it was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1897.