Urgent Museum Notice

Portrait of a Young Woman

Close up of Portrait of a Young Woman

A light-skinned woman with a direct and calm expression sits in a wooden chair, looking straight at the viewer. She wears a dress with red sleeves and a white kerchief that tucks into a blue bodice. Her hair is covered in a white and orange cap that frames her face with lace.

Marie-Geneviève Navarre, Portrait of a Young Woman, 1774; Pastel on paper, 24 x 19 3/4 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

Portrait of a Young Woman
Marie-Geneviève Navarre

Critics praised Marie-Geneviève Navarre for her keen skill working in pastels; this delicate portrait of a young woman exemplifies her talents.

Likely a member of the working class, the woman occupies a modest wooden chair. She is simply but neatly attired, her direct gaze framed by a white bonnet. The sitter’s crossed arms suggest a certain self-consciousness with posing for her portrait, but her slight smile may hint that she knows the artist who has requested her patience.

In the able hands of Navarre, the pastel medium allows for subtle shifts of color and realistic fleshtones that enhance the work’s appealing naturalism.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Marie-Geneviève Navarre
  • Title

    Portrait of a Young Woman
  • Date

    1774
  • Medium

    Pastel on paper
  • Dimensions

    24 x 19 3/4 in.
  • Donor Credit

    Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay
  • On Display

    No