Spring, 1838


Spring by Cephas Giovanni Thompson (1809–1888), 1838

Thompson painted “Spring,” his finest work, in New York City, shortly after establishing a studio in the University Building, at the easternmost corner of Washington Square. The canvas and its companion, “Autumn,” were exhibited at the Apollo Association in January 1839. A fashionable artist, Thompson capitalized on the vogue for allegorical and romantic portraiture, constructing sentimentalized visions of young women. Here, the figure is adorned in the latest style of the season and placed in a lush garden complete with the requisite Neoclassical marble urn. Her arresting gaze and informal posture are complemented by Thompson’s light-infused handling of paint.

Cephas Giovanni Thompson was the son of Cephas Thompson, also a painter. And this lady here must be Cephas Giovanni’s mother, painted by his father. Cephas Giovanni became a close friend of author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Via: MET Museum

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