Portrait of Mrs. C. (Lady with a White Shawl)

by William Merritt Chase

Add

Portrait of Mrs. C. (Lady with a White Shawl) by William Merritt Chase at PAFA

Credit: Courtesy Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Enlarge

description

add to My Experience

Like a modern day Miss America, William Merritt Chase intended this 1893 portrait of a lady in a white shawl to represent “the perfect type of American womanhood.” He kept her identity secret, though many speculate it was his wife, Mrs. William Chase, or perhaps wealthy art collector, Emily Jewel Clark. Chase’s choice to give the work with a generic title using only her last initial supports his intent to present an ideal, rather than a particular woman.