The Spanish Girl in Reverie

Artist: Washington Allston (American, Georgetown, South Carolina 1779–1843 Cambridgeport, Massachusetts)

Date: 1831

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Lyman G. Bloomingdale, 1901

Accession Number: 01.7.2


When Allston first exhibited this painting at the Boston Athenaeum in 1831, he also displayed the poem, written by him, that inspired the composition. It told the romantic story of "Sweet Inez," who awaits on the spot of her betrothal for the return of her lover, Isidore, from war. Allston's image of Inez is ethereal and luminous--a favorite facial type in his work--and her body language reveals yearning, hope, and fear. Alone in an awesome landscape, she is caught in a moment of reverie and reflection. The artist's approach to the landscape created great interest due to his dematerialization of the solid mountainous forms via meticulous glazings of diaphanous color.