Cephas Giovanni Thompson American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Thompson painted "Spring," his finest work, in New York City, shortly after establishing a studio in the University Building, at the easternmost corner of Washington Square. The canvas and its companion, "Autumn," were exhibited at the Apollo Association in January 1839. A fashionable artist, Thompson capitalized on the vogue for allegorical and romantic portraiture, constructing sentimentalized visions of young women. Here, the figure is adorned in the latest style of the season and placed in a lush garden complete with the requisite Neoclassical marble urn. Her arresting gaze and informal posture are complemented by Thompson’s light-infused handling of paint.

Spring, Cephas Giovanni Thompson (1809–1888), Oil on canvas, American

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