william-merritt-chase

Miss Savageau (1915). William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916). Oil on canvas. Denver Art Museum.

Gertrude Savageau Freeman, a student of Chase’s, is shown reading a book or looking at a book of illustrations. She sat for this painting at age 23. According to Ms. Freeman, she sat for Chase for seven sessions, each lasting for two hours. Although Miss Savageau’s father thought the portrait made her look too old, he eventually purchased it from Mrs. Chase.

The Song (1907). William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916). Oil on canvas. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

The woman in white perhaps has been working diligently at the table covered with books and papers. The piano music and song from her companion has moved her. She pushes back from her work, put her head down to listen, and receives a pleasant respite from her labours.