A Woman

French Schoolcirca 1810

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

Made in remembrance of the woman on the front, this hairwork memorial creates a message of love using palette-worked hair and watercolor. The intricate trees and pedestal were made using hair that had been adhered to goldbeater’s skin and then cut into shapes. A thick layer of chopped hair forms the ground. The flowers, dog, and delicate tufts of grass were painted with watercolor.

The stylized trees are most likely palm, which represent victory over death. Lamps with flames were used to denote eternal faithfulness. While the dog is a symbol for loyalty, when it is chained it also represents melancholy. For centuries roses have stood for love, but they also have a lesser known meaning of fidelity.

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  • Title: A Woman
  • Creator: French School
  • Date Created: circa 1810
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: diam. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann III
  • Accession Number: 2004.558
  • Medium: watercolor on ivory (recto), watercolor and hair on glass (verso)


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