The Golden Lady

William Merritt Chase1896

Parrish Art Museum

Parrish Art Museum

The identity of the elegant young woman in this painting is not known but, given the sketchbook and pencil in her hands, she is almost certainly a pupil of Chase's. Her manner of dress would seem wildly impractical for a serious art student; daily attire for young women studying with Chase would have been more like the sensible shirtwaists seen in Chase's 1905 Madrid class.

This is more likely a studio portrait that Chase arranged, clearly inspired by the Spanish Baroque masters. The shimmering gold expanse with the horizontal banding at her tightly cinched waist and neck. The gold fillet binding her hair add visual detail. Arms resting on a green velvet upholstered chair, she seems to have just looked up from her sketchbook yet her expression betrays neither recognition nor surprise. She is an aesthetic object, created by Chase for his own artistic objectives.

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  • Title: The Golden Lady
  • Creator: William Merritt Chase
  • Date Created: 1896
  • Location: Shinnecock Hills, NY
  • Physical Dimensions: 40 5/8 x 32 3/4 inches
  • External Link: The Golden Lady, 1896
  • Medium: Oil on canvas