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Robert Wilson Torchia with Deborah Chotner and Ellen G. Miles
This is the second of two volumes devoted to 19th-century American paintings at the National Gallery of Art. Arranged alphabetically by artist and chronologically by date of execution, this volume includes works by Gari Melchers through Alexander Helwig Wyant and contains many well-known masterpieces, such as Thomas Sully’s Lady with a Harp: Eliza Ridgely and James McNeill Whistler’s Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl. This portion of the collection is particularly strong in early 19th-century portraiture, of which the 19 by Thomas Sully form an outstanding group. Among the later 19th- and early 20th-century portraitists John Singer Sargent is particularly well represented. Entries define how a given painting fits into a stage of the artist’s development, list related works, summarize previous scholarly literature, and interpret the images within their full social and historical context.