Cecilia Beaux (American, 18551942)
Oil on canvas; 50 1/2 x 38 1/8 in. (128.3 x 96.8 cm)
Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1965 (65.49)
Beaux's two-year-old niece and favorite model, Ernesta Drinker (18921981), clutches the hand of her nurse, Mattie, whose figure is boldly cropped. The radical composition and free brushwork suggest that Beaux had absorbed the lessons of Manet, Degas, and Velázquez. In 1896, Ernesta was among a group of six works, including Sita and Sarita (189394; Musée d'Orsay, Paris), that were shown at the 1896 Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.