Currently on View in K207
• With its sinuous silhouette and theatrical pose, this figure is a powerful reminder of Paxton’s academic training in Paris. Yet instead of the smooth finish that lends French nudes their idealism, her skin is brushed with the ruddy reflections of nearby walls, giving it a sensuous realism.
• Paxton regarded this canvas as the masterpiece of his early career. It predates most of the elegant domestic scenes for which he and other Boston School painters are best known. (A more typical work hangs in gallery K208.)
• This nude stirred controversy among Paxton’s critics. Some found it “entirely modest,” while others were offended by its “aggressive nakedness.”
The artist; the wife of the artist and his estate; by bequest to R.H.I. Gammell in Boston, Massachusetts 1971; gift to the museum by Robert Douglas Hunter of Boston 1979