Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Gilded Cage & American Tonalist Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) The Spinet

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) Lady in Black and Rose

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) Portrait in a Brown Dress

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) Pandora

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938)

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) The Carnation 1893

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) Lady in Green

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938) was an American Tonalist painter born in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts. He studied at the Académie Julian in Paris, and later settled into a studio in New York City. Dewing painted thin, wide-boned females, usually alone, engaged in impassive actions & situated in gauzy, dreamy, confined interiors, much like a gilded cage. These women seem culturally confined, they remain remote & certainly emotionally distant from the viewer, but reportedly, not from the artist. Apparently Dewing's bachelor patron, railroad baron Charles Lang Freer (whose collection formed the 1923 Freer Gallery in Washington DC), actively enabled Dewing's relationships with his models & helped conceal them from Dewing's wife. Dewing's scenes are infused with subtle color harmonies that pervade the entire painting, setting tone & mood. These women seem like captives of the Victorian age, both culturally & sexually, & they make me somewhat uncomfortable. These are some of Dewings' women as objects.

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) The Piano 1891

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) The Palm Leaf Fan

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) Lady in White No 1

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) Lady in Blue Portrait of Annie Lazarus

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) Young Girl Seated 1896

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) Woman in Black Portrait Maria Oakey Dewing 1887
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