William Oliver Portrait Painting - 19th Century Academic Portrait of a Woman, "The Love Letter"
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William Oliver
19th Century Academic Portrait of a Woman, "The Love Letter"

1884

About

William Oliver was a highly acclaimed nineteenth-century painter of genre and figurative scenes. His work consists of pictures that depict beautiful women often in rural and historical settings, including antiquity and the eighteenth century. Oliver trained and worked exclusively in London and exhibited frequently at the prestigious Royal Academy of the Arts and the British Institution in London. He also exhibited in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester, three cities with burgeoning middle-classes and many potential clients for his genre scenes. Unlike many of his contemporaries who focused on depicting fashionable, sophisticated, and urban women, Oliver chose to depict peasant girls of “unexpected loveliness” as the subjects of his works. His models are often dressed in historical costumes from the eighteenth century and embody a simple and wholesome or “unvarnished” beauty. Oliver’s figures are solidly formed and often bathed in soft shimmering light. His work exhibits a fine attention to detail and is highly finished. William Oliver often enhanced the narrative quality of his work by giving sentimental titles such as “Say Yes, or No,” A Love Test", and "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever" to his pictures. This particular piece is a fine example of this with the title, "The Love Letter." SELECTED MUSUEMS AND COLLECTIONS Manchester City Art Gallery Tate Gallery, London City Art Gallery, Birmingham Graves Art Gallery, Sheffield Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield

Details

  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
    Excellent
  • Condition Details
    The canvas support is original and is attached to the original five-member stretcher. UV light reveals some minor points of inpainting. The inpainting is minimal, peripheral to the image, and does not affect the integrity of the painting.
  • Period
  • Dimensions
    H 46 in. x W 38 in. x D 3 in.H 116.84 cm x W 96.52 cm x D 7.62 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Washington, DC
  • Reference Number
    LU123824559821
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