The Last Look of John Donne
On View: American Identities: A New Look, Modern Life, 5th Floor
Marsden Hartley occasionally painted highly imaginary portraits of historic figures such as this one of John Donne, the seventeenth-century English metaphysical poet and dean of London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral. 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; the striated pattern of folds approximates the hard, carved stone of the tomb.
Oil on academy board
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Lowenthal
© Estate of Marsden Hartley, Yale University Committee on Intellectual Property
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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. © Estate of Marsden Hartley, Yale University Committee on Intellectual Property
overall, 71.201_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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