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Arabella Worsham

Alexandre Cabanel French

Not on view

In 1882, Arabella Worsham set sail on her first European trip, timed during the renovation of her townhouse. While decorator George A. Schastey was providing her with an entirely new domestic backdrop, Worsham embarked on her own personal reinvention when she commissioned the celebrated Parisian society painter Alexandre Cabanel to execute this grand full-length portrait. She stands tall, almost courtly, dressed in a sumptuous claret velvet gown of the latest fashion and wearing modest jewelry and her ubiquitous spectacles. As such, she left behind her humble youth spent in Richmond, Virginia, to embrace her social ambitions. In 1884, she married railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington and began her journey as an art collector and philanthropist.

Arabella Worsham, Alexandre Cabanel (French, Montpellier 1823–1889 Paris), Oil on canvas, American

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