This painting is based on Song of Songs 5:7: “The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the wall took away my veil from me.” The work is typical of R.H. Ives Gammell’s academic style. Although the narrative illustrates a Bible text, it also symbolically represents the artist’s concern that ideal beauty has been lost in the modern world. The desire to combine realistic subject matter and symbolic content was at the center of Gammell’s beliefs about art and imbued his approach to teaching.


  • Title: The Dream of the Shulamite
  • Creator: R.H. Ives Gammell
  • Date: 1934
  • Location: Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Physical Dimensions: w67 x h81½ in (without frame)
  • Media: oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: Museum purchase
  • Provenance: Collection of Maryhill Museum of Art
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/discover/about-maryhill-museum-of-art/press-room/images-for-publication

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