Large Boston Public Garden Sketchbook: A nude woman with red hair

Artist:
Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American, St. John’s, Newfoundland 1858–1924 New York)
Date:
1895–97
Medium:
Recto: watercolor over pencil, bordered in pencil and watercolor
Dimensions:
14 1/8 x 11 3/16 in. (35.8 x 28.4 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.941
Not on view
This half-length study of a nude woman is unique in Prendergast’s Boston work of the 1890s. Overtly sexual, the red-headed woman recalls sirens in the artist’s sketches of men’s smoking fantasies for J.M. Barrie’s My Lady Nicotine (on display in exhibition). The loose, broad undulating brushwork is anomalous in the context of the Public Garden Sketchbook watercolors.
Charles Prendergast, 1924; his widow, Eugénie Prendergast, 1948; Robert Lehman , 1961.