No hair stylist? No problem!
This masterpiece of carving was probably commissioned from David d’Angers, the leading portrait sculptor of the Romantic era, by the sitter’s husband, a New York entrepreneur with business connections in France. Formal purity is paramount: nothing distracts from the transition between smooth skin and the swept up coils of an extraordinary hairstyle that was the height of fashion about 1830. The tilt of the head and slightly pouted lips impart refined lifelikeness to the portrait. Robinson’s idealized serenity is typical of David d’Angers’s female portrait busts; those depicting men tend to reveal far more about the sitters’ inner personality.
Lent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the Museum of the City of New York
August 19th, 2018