Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) was an elegant and smart American painter attached to ‘tonalism’, a painting style that arose in the United States around 1880 and whose well-known representatives were George Inness and James McNeill Whistler. The ‘tonalist’ painters looked for an ideal of beauty and gave their pictures a particular veiled atmosphere, both landscapes and objects seemed to be surrounded by a subtle mist. These artists equally focussed in finding the correct and exact value of the colours and the hues.
Dewing’s works are mainly devoted to female figure, he was capable of giving the portrayed women a refined spirituality. All those women posed with a certain languor, oblivious to our gaze, sometimes they turn their back on us, always smart and unattainable. These characters integrating the landscape seem to arise like some sort of
apparition, such as ghosts merging with the beautiful green backgrounds Dewing depicted so outstandingly. String musical instruments included in the portraits were a constant, reminiscent of those violin lessons during Dewing’s childhood. All the refinement of his oil paints is present in the rest of his works: pastels or silverpoint drawings.