Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Art Review - "The Spinet" by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

This piece at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery may be my favorite painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing.

It's not because of the figure, something that Dewing is well known for in his work, but rather the background. The piece is uncharacteristic for the artist, as his backgrounds are normally more simplistic or amorphous. For me, it's the wallpaper that brings life to the painting, seeming to move and twist more than the figure.

I have to wonder if the wallpaper is actually the work of Dewing's wife, Maria Oakey Dewing, as it is known that she often collaborated with her husband, painting the floral portions of his work.

"The Spinet" • Thomas Wilmer Dewing • ca. 1902 • Oil on Wood • 15.5" x 20"


Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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