Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Art Review - "Iris At Dawn" by Maria Oakey Dewing

This past weekend, during one of my workshops, I was asked who I considered to be my favorite floral painters. While there are many, one of my top choices is definitely Maria Oakey Dewing. I've featured her work in a previous #MuseumTourTuesday post, but not this specific painting. This piece is part of the collection of the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Irises are beautiful flowers, but Dewing goes beyond the blooms and creates a lush tapestry of foliage. That's what I admire most about her work. There's no vase or carefully cropped bouquet. Her florals can't be contained, and burst through the confines of the canvas. One gets the sense that turning in any direction will reveal more. We're not just admiring the flowers in her painting, we are surrounded by them.
Maria collaborated on a number of paintings with her husband, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, who went on to overshadow her own career. She often painted the floral portions of his compositions, and rarely signed her name.
 
Sadly, she regretted her own career later in life, believing that she had not realized her full potential, and feeling unable to compete with her husband. I for one think that she deserves a much more elevated stature among the most well known American artists.
 
"Iris At Dawn" • Maria Oakey Dewing • Oil on Canvas • 64 x 79.5 cm • 1899

 
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2021. 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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