The Blue Mandarin Coat is the last known work by Joseph Rodefer DeCamp. Originally from Cincinnati, DeCamp became an influential teacher in Boston and one of the most sought after portraitists in New England. This work is distinctive and might well have signaled a new direction for DeCamp’s art had he lived longer. The anonymous model possesses the regal bearing typical of the artist’s formal portraits of men, and her assertive pose contradicts contemporary models of femininity. The brilliant light radiating from within the model recalls the style of Rembrandt’s late portraits, and her luminous eyes, cast in a backward glance, appear to convey DeCamp’s own mood of retrospection.