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Pastel, heightened with white gouache on tan woven paper, mounted to board
Support: Cream wove paper (discolored to light brown), perimeter mounted to cardboard
Sheet: 46.2 x 34.3 cm (18 3/16 x 13 1/2 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.348
This portrait of an English woman named Jane Jarvis probably shows her not too long after the death of her father. Her jet black jewels are French, but her low-neck dress, which represents the last stage of the mourning period, could be French or English. With his pastels, Delaroche created a dashingly decorative image that highlights and complements the elaborate dress depicted. The large Renaissance-style hat seems to float against the creamy blues and beiges of the background. Below, the chalky pastel describes the particular appearance of the arms seen through the gauzy material of the sleeves, and energetic stray lines around the body add an ornamental flourish of technical virtuosity.
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