Triumph of the Dance Artist: Edwin Howland Blashfield (American, 1848–1936)

ca. 1894

American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

Frolicking nymphs and cupids grace this fanciful skyward mural, conveying a sense of joy and abandon. Commissioned for Collis and Arabella Huntington’s Fifth Avenue mansion, this painting by Edwin Howland Blashfield originally decorated the ceiling of the Huntington’s drawing room. Blashfield painted two related figures for the walls below, coordinating his murals to compliment the architecture and the room’s Louis XV décor. Upon seeing this painting in Blashfield’s studio, the writer Mark Twain remarked, "Well, I don’t know who they are, but I wish I was up there with them, and dressed the same."


Oil on canvas


94 7/8 × 191 1/8 in. (241 × 485.4 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Archer M. Huntington, M.A. (Hon.) 1897

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

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Object/Work type



clouds sky

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