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The Last Look of John Donne

Marsden Hartley

American Art

Marsden Hartley occasionally painted imaginary portraits of historical figures such as this one of John Donne, the seventeenth-century English metaphysical poet and dean of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. The solemn portrait is based on an engraving of Donne’s carved tomb effigy that was the frontispiece for a collection of his sermons. The shrouded body is presented in a palette of blues and whites, cool colors evocative of death, while the striated pattern of folds approximates the hard, carved stone of the tomb.
MEDIUM Oil on academy board
DATES 1940
DIMENSIONS 28 1/8 x 22 in. (71.4 x 55.9 cm) frame: 37 1/2 x 31 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (95.3 x 80 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Marsden Hartley, Yale University Committee on Intellectual Property
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CAPTION Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943). The Last Look of John Donne, 1940. Oil on academy board, 28 1/8 x 22 in. (71.4 x 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal, 71.201. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.201_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 71.201_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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