James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917)

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  • JAMES CARROLL BECKWITH (1852-1917)
  • Nita
  • Oil on panel
  • 10 1/16 x 7 5/8 inches
  • Signed lower right Inscribed, “Background of/Nita Sewell/1897,” verso

Nita is a distinguished example of the intimate vignettes the artist captured of his attractive female models. The composition is brilliantly executed in the placement of the figure close to the picture plane with the fresh rolling countryside situated behind her. Alive and vivid, the subject extends a thoughtful gaze and privies the viewer to her self-assured, yet soft mien. The viewer has a sense of her piercing awareness of the world before her. One immediately sees the influence of his colleague. John Singer Sargent's psychologically probing portraits as well as the brilliant finesse of his brushwork. Beckwith manages to recreate expression not only through the careful modeling of Nita's delicate facial features (particularly her jewel-like eyes,) but also in her statuesque pose. The staccato brushstrokes of her dress capture both the richness of its texture as well the dispersal of sunlight upon her. The palette is bold and rich, carrying the picturesque freshness of her airy surroundings.

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