Portrait of an Older Woman
Henri de Kruif (American, 1882 – 1944)
MediumWatercolor on board
DimensionsSheet/image : 21 1/2 x 25 in. (54.61 x 63.5 cm)
Frame : 25 5/8 x 29 in. (65.09 x 73.66 cm)
Credit LineGift of George Pelgrim and Phyllis White
LabelArtist Henri De Kruif painted this portrait of a distinguished older woman in 1911, shortly before he moved from his native Grand Rapids to start a new life in southern California. The woman's identity is not known, but her clothing and the furnishings surrounding her suggest that she is comfortably middle class. Her high-necked, long-sleeved black silk dress reflects current clothing fashions for mature women during the Edwardian period, as does her rolled pompadour hairstyle. The fact that she is holding her spectacles rather than wearing them suggests that she is self-conscious about her appearance, but the overall effect of the painting conveys an impression of dignity more than vanity.