Maud Cook (later Maud Cook Reid, 1869–1956) Artist: Thomas Eakins (American, 1844–1916)

1895

American Paintings and Sculpture

On view, 2nd floor, American Art before 1900


In his later years, Thomas Eakins turned increasingly to portraiture, and most of his sitters were friends and people he admired. Commissions were rare. Unlike his portraits of men, in which he was sensitive to the sitter's public self, Eakins's depictions of women focus on their vulnerability and their emotional tenderness. Shown in a private moment, Maud Cook, dressed in a glowing pink dress, tilts her head away from the viewer and toward the light, which casts strong shadows revealing the structure of her face. The same warm light bathes the exposed skin of her neck and upper chest, imparting to the portrait a subtle glow. Years later, Cook described the portrait to the artist's biographer: "As I was just a young girl my hair is done low in the neck and tied with a ribbon. Mr. Eakins never gave the painting a name but said to himself it was like ‘a big rosebud.’"

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

24 1/2 × 20 1/16 in. (62.2 × 51 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903

Accession Number

1961.18.18

Culture
Period

19th century

Classification
Disclaimer

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.

Provenance

Provenance

Maud Cook (1869–1956), Oil City, Penn.; Stephen Carlton Clark (1882–1960), New York; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1961
Bibliography
  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 329–30, no. 211, ill
  • Rebecca Zurier, Picturing the City (Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2006), 127, fig. 48
  • Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2006), 316, 325, fig. 278
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

portraits

Signed

Signed verso "To his friend/Maud Cook/Thomas Eakins/1895"

Technical metadata and APIs

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