Thomas Wilmer Dewing - Lady in Yellow, 1888

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (Boston, 1851 - 1938, New York)

Lady in Yellow, 1888

Oil on panel, 50.8 x 40 cm (20 x 15 3/4 in.)


Object details

Accession number



Purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner from the artist Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), Boston for $1,500 on 6 March 1888, through the American painter Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890).


Inscribed (lower right): '88 T.W. Dewing
Inscribed (on a paper label affixed to the frame, upper center ): 87 [removed in 1974]
Printed label inscribed in ink (back of frame, top): Boston Art Club / Exhibition / Title: Lady in Yellow / Artist: / Owner: Mrs. J. L. Gardner / Return to: Fenway Court / Price: $6,000. not on sale.
Printed label inscribed in ink (back of frame, left, worn): Exhibition / Title: (sic) / Artist: Dewing / Owner: Mrs. J. L. Gardner / Return to: (sic) / Price: (sic) J. Coolidge Jr. (sic) Copley (sic)
Printed label (back of frame, bottom): Medaille / D'Argent
Printed label (affixed to the back of the panel): Prepared Panel / Winsor & Newton / Artists' Colourmen / To Her Majesty / and to / TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales / 38, Rathbone Place, W. / and / North London Colour Works, Kentish Town, N. W.

Dimension Notes

Frame: 86.68 x 76.2 cm (34 1/8 x 30 in.)


"The Academy Exhibition." The Nation (19 April 1888), p. 331.
"Spring Academy Exhibition." Art Interchange (21 April 1888), p. 130.
Clarence Cook. "Prizes Awarded at the National Academy of Design." The Studio (May 1888), p. 99.
"The Academy Exhibition." The Art Age (June 1888), p. 95.
Clarence Cook. "National Academy of Design, Sixty-Third Annual Exhibition, Second Notice." The Studio (June 1888), p. 112. (entitled "Lady Daffodil")
Official Catalogue of the United States Exhibition. Exh. cat. (Paris: Paris Universal Exposition, 1889), p. 6, no. 87.
"The Fine Arts at the Paris Exposition: X-The United States." The Nation (17 October 1889), p. 311.
Charles Davey. "Artist Dewing Goes to New York to be Crowned." Boston Herald. 26 Mar. 1890.
Loan Collection of Portraits of Women... Exh. cat. (Boston: Copley Hall, 1895), p. 17, no. 109.
Royal Cortissoz. "Some Imaginative Types in American Art." Harper's New Monthly Magazine (July 1895), p. 168. (entitled "Girl in Yellow")
Catalogue: Loan Collection of Paintings by Mr. T.W. Dewing. Exh. Cat. (New York: Montross Galleries, 1900), no. 18. (entitled "The Yellow Dress")
C.H. Caffin. "Art Notes: Pictures by Mr. Dewing at the Montross Gallery." Free Gallery of Art Scrapbook (28 Feb. 1900), p. 2.
Kenyon Cox. "Some American Figure-Painters." Cosmopolitan (March 1902), p. 594.
Catalogue. Fenway Court (Boston, 1903), p. 1.
Samuel Isham. The History of American Painting (New York, 1910), p. 476.
Ezra Tharp. "T.W. Dewing." Art and Progress (1914), p. 156.
Morris Carter. Isabella Stewart Gardner and Fenway Court (Boston, 1925; Reprint, Boston, 1972), p. 104.
Philip Hendy. Catalogue of Exhibited Paintings and Drawings (Boston, 1931), p. 128.
Gilbert Wendel Longstreet and Morris Carter. General Catalogue (Boston, 1935), p. 15.
E.P. Richardson. A Short History of Painting in America: The Story of 450 Years (New York, 1963), pp. 207-09, fig. 10-10.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 1974), p. 78, ill.
Trevor Fairbrother. The Bostonians: Painters of an Elegant Age, 1870-1930. Exh. cat. (Boston, 1986), pp. 49-50, fig. 15
Erica Hirshler. Denis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist. Exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Chicago: Terra Museum of American Art and Denver: Denver Art Museum, 1995), p. 75, fig. 39.
Hilliard Goldfarb and Erica Hirshler. Dennis Miller Bunker and His Circle. Exh. cat. (Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1995), pp. 32-33, 62, no. 13.
Susan Hobbs in Barbara Dayer Gallati et al. The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing: Beauty Reconfigured. Exh. cat. (Brooklyn, New York: The Brooklyn Museum, 1996), pp. 149-51, cat. 30.
Alan Chong et al. (eds.) Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, 2003), p. 202, ill.

Rights and reproductions

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Dewing created a striking contrast between the precisely modeled face and arms, and the very free, feathery brushstrokes of the dress. The painting was exhibited in 1888 at the Boston Art Club, where it was purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner with the help of Dennis Miller Bunker. The painting was then exhibited to considerable acclaim at the National Academy of Design and at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. Stanford White designed the frame, which is original to the painting. Mrs. Gardner hung the painting in the Yellow Room, a setting perfectly attuned to the hue of the woman’s dress.

Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 202.


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