1903
American
oil on panel
Unframed: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.64 cm)
Framed: 35 1/2 × 31 3/8 × 3 3/16 in. (90.17 × 79.69 × 8.1 cm)
L2015.13.18
 The Boston-born Dewing is best known for his ethereal scenes of women rendered in a tonalist style. Drawing on the influence of James McNeill Whistler and other sources, Dewing presented his audiences with an intellectual ideal of beauty signified metaphorically as the female figure in a poetic, super-worldly space. In The Lute , a bare and austere interior provides the setting for a woman dressed in golden tones. Caught in a moment of reflection, unaware of the viewer’s presence, she leans slightly toward the lute, her form melding with the instrument in mutual affiliation. The inclusion of a musical device—what Whistler likewise interpreted as a medium of poetry—reinforces the aura of heightened sensibility.
signed lower left, "T W Dewing"
James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection
Rawles, Susan J. and Christopher C. Oliver. The James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection of American Art, A Promise Fulfilled (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2015): pp. 80-81.

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