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Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)
Woman in Purple and Green, 1905
Oil on wood panel
Charles F. Smith Fund - 1948.2

There have been many precedents for unique artistic interpretations of fashionable costumes in paintings. John Singleton Copley, in the eighteenth century, frequently embellished portraits to serve his own aesthetic impulses or the wishes of his patrons. So, too, did succeeding artists such as Thomas Wilmer Dewing. In Woman in Purple and Green, the literature indicates that the painter used this same model and gown in several of his paintings. The provocative portrayal features a woman wearing an informal, at-home gown that has fallen below the shoulders. Dewing has chosen to show the gown in a manner in which it would not normally be worn. The leg-o-mutton sleeves are gathered into a tight cuff. The fullness of the sleeves is somewhat minimized by the gown which lies low on the bodice. Ties hang loose at the center of the gown which indicates that they were used to tighten the bodice