Woman in a Blue Dress

Thomas Wilmer Dewing American

Not on view

Trained in Boston and Paris, Dewing preferred as his subjects idealized patrician women in attitudes inspired by the figural Symphonies, Arrangements, Harmonies, and Notes by the American expatriate painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Indeed, such exquisite studies as "Woman in a Blue Dress" descend directly from Whistler's subtle pastels, right down to Dewing's use of light brown "Whistler" paper, originally supplied to him by a patron of both artists. Dewing emulated Whistler's discreet, often minimal, touch with pastel crayons, typically exploiting the paper color, as here, to model form in light and dark. Unlike Whistler, he did not generally accent contours in black line but revealed the figure—particularly the flesh—with concentrations of pale pigment to realize a haunting, weightless yet sensuous appartition.

Woman in a Blue Dress, Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American, 1851–1938), Pastel on brown wove paper, mounted on wood board, American

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