Monday, May 11, 2020

Thomas Wilmer Dewing's Women with Musical Instruments

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) -- Wikipedia entry here -- painted many gauzy, dreamy images of women in a style so distinctive that it would be difficult for another artist to mimic it in order to carve out a successful career.

I rather like his work and am always pleased when I stumble across one of his paintings in a museum.

The settings Dewing chose varied.  Below are examples of women shown with musical instruments -- one of his major themes.  They are arranged in approximate chronological order.


Lady with a Lute - 1886
This was before he settled on his gauzy style.

The Piano - 1891
This is clearly mainline Dewing.  Note the lack of a realistic background.

Music - c. 1895
Here he combines two of his themes -- a woman with a musical instrument and women in a outdoor setting.

The Spinet - c. 1902
This is more hard-edge than usual.

The Lute - 1903
Also painted more crisply.  Perhaps he was considering backing away from his signature style at this time.

Brocart de Venise - c. 1904
Now Dewing drifts back to fuzzy, nondescript backgrounds.

The Song and the Cello - c. 1910
In his outdoor scenes Dewing often had his women as small elements of the overall painting.  Here he tries it in an indoors setting.

Young Woman with Violincello - c. 1912
This is the latest (approximately) dated image of this set.

La musicienne

Lady with a Cello
These two paintings did not have dates associated with them.  However, they were likely made in the early 1900s.

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