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Portrait of Virginia Meadows

Oil on canvas
59 x 39 in. (149.9 x 99.1 cm)
Century: 20th Century
Credit Line: Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Gift of The Meadows Foundation, MM.82.01
Accession Number: MM.82.01

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Visual Description

This portrait of Virginia Meadows, first wife of the museum’s founder, is approximately 5 feet tall by 3.25 feet wide and is oil on canvas. Mrs. Meadows sits tall on a red floral chair, hands placed on her lap, smiling widely at the viewer. Behind her the background is composed of a multitude of brushstrokes in pastel shades as if softly scribbled. Mrs. Meadows wears a long gown with a sequin-adorned cream bodice and a light lavender and sky-blue skirt, perhaps made of a gauzy or chiffon fabric. A sash of this same translucent fabric wraps from her left shoulder onto her lap and across her right hip. The large chiffon skirt flows down over her legs onto the floor taking up much of the bottom half of the image. Her golden blonde hair is rolled back into an updo at the crown of her head and she wears striking red lipstick defining a bright smile and contrasted against a light, peachy skin tone. The formality of the sitter’s dress is enhanced by her bright white jewelry: stud earrings, pendant necklace, bracelet, and ring. The artist beautifully captures Mrs. Meadows with medium to thick brushstrokes, prominently featured in the skirt and background. The pastel colors produce a soft glow from the figure reinforced by the kindness seen in her expression.

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