Image Resources | Currently on View in Joan D. Weisenberger Gallery
The youthful model’s facial features emerge from dark shadows and an unadorned background. Turned away from the viewer, the figure gazes into the distance, emphasizing the meditative drama promoted by Steele’s Royal Academy instructors.
Today most people know Steele’s landscapes, but portraiture financially sustained the artist. He painted many portraits in the late 1880s to repay investors in his Munich education.
Steele took great care in his portraits, holding up to twelve sittings in order to capture the inner personality of a subject in addition to the exterior appearance. He painted many celebrated Hoosiers, including five governors.