32 x 32 in. (canvas) 36-1/2 x 37 in. (framed)
James E. Roberts Fund
(R. C. and N. M. Vose, Boston, Massachusetts); Mrs. John N. Carey [1859-1938], Indianapolis; purchased by the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1929 (29.71).
The colorful patterns and glowing sunshine here are signature elements of Frieseke’s work. He painted his wife in this same room under various light effects that he used to heighten the sparkle of the patterning around her.
Look closely at the painting and you will see a ghostly image above the hand on the woman’s lap. This is called a pentimento, meaning “repentance” in Italian. These occur when the paint becomes more transparent with age and reveals changes made by the artist. To find out what was hidden, an infrared reflectogram (IRR) image of the painting was taken (shown below). The IRR shows that the woman was originally holding an open book. The artist painted it out and shifted the position of the woman’s hand.
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