Eastman Johnson (American, 18241906)
Pastel on wove paper, mounted on canvas on a wooden stretcher; 24 x 14 in. (61 x 35.6 cm)
Anonymous Gift, in memory of William Brown Cogswell, 1946 (46.47)
Although Johnson's oeuvre in pastel crayon includes no more than twenty pieces, it is nonetheless highly significant, not only because his handling of the material was so skillful but also because he was one of the few American artists who used it during the mid-nineteenth century. Johnson began using pastel in 1847making him practically unique among his colleaguesand may have come to regard pastel, which shared basic properties with the other drawing media he used so comfortably, as a reasonable way to add color to his work. This particular work is part of a series leading up to an oil painting of the same title (location unknown). He probably used his daughter Ethel as his model.