Woman in Manteau
Painted in Paris at a time when Robert Henri was determined to make his professional mark as a young artist, this work—in a dark, smoky palette deliberately recalling European Old Masters—features his favorite model, Berthe Terrier. Although he intentionally allied his art with revered tradition, Henri also added a contemporary mood by portraying Terrier with a bold, almost defiant expression.
X-radiographs reveal that Henri repainted this work extensively as he struggled to capture his model’s anatomy. At an earlier stage (see illustration), the placement of the shawl exposed much more of her shoulders and bust. Such focus on the nude reflects the artist’s early academic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Thomas Eakins’s Realist tradition was still strongly felt.
- Artist: Robert Henri, American, 1865-1929
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: 1898
- Dimensions: 58 1/16 x 38 11/16 in. (147.5 x 98.3 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed lower left: "Robert Henri"
- Inscriptions: Inscribed verso, before relining, top right quadrant, in black paint: ning: "A/31/1"; top left quadrant: "No. 2"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 39.600
- Credit Line: Gift of the National Academy of Design
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Robert Henri (American, 1865-1929). Woman in Manteau, 1898. Oil on canvas, 58 1/16 x 38 11/16 in. (147.5 x 98.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the National Academy of Design, 39.600
- Record Completeness: Best (92%)