Portrait of a Young Girl with a Blue Ribbon ca. 1895

Louise Abbéma, Portrait of a Young Girl with a Blue Ribbon, ca. 1985; Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay
Louise Abbéma, Portrait of a Young Girl with a Blue Ribbon, ca. 1985; Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

Louise Abbéma’s Portrait of a Young Girl with a Blue Ribbon demonstrates the influence of Impressionism on her style, as well as her skill with pastels. Unblended strokes of pastel crayon, particularly in the girl’s dress, work together to suggest the texture of the blue material, rather than rendering it in fine detail. In certain areas, Abbéma lets the blank canvas show through, an effect often used by Impressionist artists such as Berthe Morisot.

Abbéma’s frank and un-sentimentalized portrayal of her sitter is unusual in her oeuvre; her most typical subjects are genre scenes, allegories, and portraits of women.

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