Arts Everyday Living: Through the Eyes of an American Impressionist-A Woman Artist & Designer

William Merritt Chase, Dora Wheeler, 1882-1883, oil on canvas, Gift off Mrs. Boudinot Keith in memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade, Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio

Title: Portrait of Dora Wheeler, 1882-1883

Artist: William Merritt Chase (1849-1916)

 

Dora Wheeler (1856-1940), the subject of the portrait above by American Impressionist William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), would become a multi-talented artist, including designing textiles with her mother Candace’s decorating business.  She also studied under Chase, having the distinction of helping start his career as a prominent and gifted teacher—the first of a long list of students from Rockwell Kent to Georgia O’Keeffe.

Here she sits contemplating us in an elegant Elizabethan era chair, attired in a rich blue gown which seems to sweep across the canvas. Behind her rises a striking yellow tapestry, alive with the movement of butterflies, flowers, and a black and white cat in the upper left hand corner. Almost camouflaged into the material is a bouquet of jonquils or daffodils, as if Chase were trying to trick us into thinking that they are handmade rather than real.

 

 

 

In the public domain, courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio. You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission.

The Cleveland Museum of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the Cleveland Museum of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

 

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