John White Alexander (American, 1856–1915)
Oil on canvas
52 1/4 x 63 5/8 in. (132.7 x 161.6 cm)
Anonymous Gift, 1980 (1980.224)
Alexander gained international success in the 1890s with his portrayals of idealized women in elegant interiors. Here, the figure's provocative expression and supple curves reflect the contemporary French taste for images of sensuous females and for the undulating linear rhythms of Art Nouveau. With its model decoratively swathed in billows of white fabric, Repose was lampooned in a French magazine as portraying the American dancer Loïe Fuller (18621928), who was famous for manipulating swirling folds of silk.