Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Art Review - "Ethelinda and James" by Willard LeRoy Metcalf

This week's #MuseumTourTuesday features a painting by Willard Metcalf. Known mostly for his landscape paintings, Metcalf was also an accomplished figure painter.

This particular piece depicts Ethelinda Vanderbilt Allen and her fiancé James H. Ward a year prior to their marriage. Ethelinda's brother was also an artist and a close friend to Metcalf.

I particularly love the relaxed atmosphere of the painting. Notice the soft edges throughout the piece. Ethelinda's face is barely there, and yet Metcalf perfectly sets her mood as she gazes across the table at her fiancé. The highlights on the glass bottles stand out and act as a central axis for everything else in the painting to pivot around. Also of note, the hints of the wicker in the chair. Just enough to give us a sense of the texture without overwhelming us with an overstated pattern.

"Ethelinda and James" • Willard LeRoy Metcalf • 15" x 17"• Oil on Canvas
• 1890 • Private Collection

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2022. 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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