Meditation1886 by William Merritt Chase

This features Chase’s most frequent model—his wife Alice Gerson. Painted a year before their marriage in 1887, it is one of Chase’s most prized pastels. The portrait depicts Gerson in a hat, gloves and heavy jacket, holding a fur muff in her lap. Ready to go out, she has paused, losing herself in a moment of contemplation, chin in hand. Her eyes are fixed on the viewer and engage with the world—a recurring feature in Chase’s many depictions of modern women, who were reshaping society in the decades following the Civil War. (
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