Lady in Black

Artist: William Merritt Chase (American, Williamsburg, Indiana 1849–1916 New York)

Date: 1888

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 74 1/4 x 36 5/16 in. (188.6 x 92.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of William Merritt Chase, 1891

Accession Number: 91.11

Description

Marietta Benedict Cotton (1868–1947) studied with Chase and became a successful society portraitist in New York and London. Chase later recalled: “One morning, a young lady came into my Tenth Street studio. . . . She came as a pupil but the moment she appeared before me I saw her only as a splendid model. . . . Such a model is a treasurefind. It is the personality that inspires, and which you depict on canvas.” An unabashed eclectic, Chase shared James McNeill Whistler’s predilection for monochromatic portraits and quoted the table at the left from John Singer Sargent’s "Madame X" (Madame Pierre Gautreau) of 1883–84 (16.53), also in the Museum's collection.

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