Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

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Dorothy Seton - A Daughter of Eve

Titles

Variations on the title have been suggested:

  • 'Dorothy Seton. A Daughter of Eve' (1905, Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Paris). 1
  • 'Daughter of Eve' (1908, Pennell). 2
  • 'A Daughter of Eve' (1915, Colnaghi). 3
  • 'Dorothy Seton – A Daughter of Eve' (1935, University of Glasgow). 4
  • 'Dorothy Seton – A Daughter of Eve' (1980, YMSM). 5

'Dorothy Seton – A Daughter of Eve' is the preferred title.

Description


                    Dorothy Seton – A Daughter of Eve, The Hunterian
Dorothy Seton – A Daughter of Eve, The Hunterian

A half-length portrait of a young woman with shoulder length reddish-brown hair. She is slightly turned to right. She wears a black dress and has a black ribbon in her hair. She holds an apple up to her breast, in her right hand. The background is a dark green.

Sitter

Dorothy Seton (fl. 1885-1900) . She may have been the 'Dora. Seton' recorded in the 1901 UK census as an artist and sculptor, aged 22, born in Dublin, and living at 59 Park Road, Battersea.

Other portraits of her include Dorothy Seton [YMSM 551] and Head of a Girl [YMSM 554], and two lithographs, Portrait of a Young Woman [Miss Seton] c171 and Portrait of a Young Woman Wearing a Hat [Miss Seton] c172.

Comments

According to the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, Eve, the first woman, was created by God from one of Adam's ribs to be Adam's companion. A serpent tricked Eve into eating fruit from a forbidden tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – and she gave some of the fruit to Adam. God cursed the serpent and banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.


                    Adam and Eve, The Hunterian
Adam and Eve, The Hunterian

                    Eve, The Hunterian
Eve, The Hunterian

                    The retort, The Hunterian
The retort, The Hunterian

Eve as temptress, holding an apple, was a subject explored by Whistler in several drawings, including Adam and Eve [M.1697] and Eve [M.1698], and, in The Retort [M.1700], a suggestion for an advertisement for soap!

Notes:

1: Œuvres de James McNeill Whistler, Palais de l'Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1905 (cat. no. 40).

2: Pennell 1908 [more] , vol. 2, p. 291.

3: Loan Exhibition of Works by James McNeill Whistler to aid the Professional Classes War Relief Council, Messrs Colnaghi, London, 1915 (cat. no. 24).

4: James McNeill Whistler, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1936 (cat. no. 31).

5: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 552).

Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret