The Sensitive Plant

Maria Edgar American

Not on view

Maria Edgar’s watercolor, her only known work, has been categorized as a mourning picture by at least one scholar. It includes some of the common features of such scenes, for example, the urn and the garden setting. Yet there is no sorrow or loss indicated in the composition. A symbol of modern womanhood, she stoops amid thriving roses and plants--foxgloves or figwort--and turns her attention to a potted mimosa, which is also called “the sensitive plant” for the way the leaves respond to stimulus. It seems likely that Edgar’s painting is not about death or grief, but about life and the nurturing power of the female touch.

The Sensitive Plant, Maria Edgar, Watercolor and graphite on off-white wove paper, American

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