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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 19th century: A Bride
A Bride


A Bride
about 1895
Abbott Handerson Thayer
oil on canvas
21 x 17 1/8 in. (53.3 x 43.4 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly
1929.6.111
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Abbott Thayer painted this study for a large society portrait of Alice Maude Allen Atwater of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He sketched her from life and focused on the details of her face and her general pose. But in the finished version, which he made in his studio, he lavished attention on the bride's gown of Japanese gold cloth with a Belgian rose-point lace bodice. Years later the dress remained in his mind, but when asked who the bride was, he had trouble remembering. (Prelinger, American Impressionism: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2000)


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