The Lady Anne
Edwin Austin Abbey -- American illustrator/ painter
The Butler Institute of American Art 
Oil on canvas
121.92 x 60.96 cm (48 x 24 in)
Museum purchase, 925-0-101 
jpg: Butler Institute of American Art

 From: The Butler Institute of American Art 

The Lady Anne was painted in 1899, several years after the major painting, Richard, Duke of Gloucester and the Lady Anne was exhibited at the Royal Academy. The Lady Anne cannot, therefore, be called a study for the larger painting, but might more aptly be termed an "afterthought," or a kind of remarque. Looking at this painting from the vantage point of today, one would not guess at the historical or narrative content, and so we must assume that Abbey's motivation in making the painting was more an abstract interest in composition, and in that sense The Lady Anne is closer than most of his other work to fine art than illustration. The romantic pose is typical of Abbey's work, but the dramatic contrast of light and dark are somewhat unusual. The sinuous line made by the figure, with the hands as an important focus, reminds us of Sargent's portrait compositions. The painting lacks the obsessive historic detail for which Abbey was renowned in his day, but now this very lack of interference from details makes this a more accessible and attractive example of his work. 


Created 10/14/2003