July 5, 2017
Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919), Flora (Carrie Mansfield Weir), 1882, oil on canvas, 44 1/4 x 34 1/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
Today’s Artwork of the Day is a highlight from the permanent American collection at the BYU Museum of Art. In this painting, artist Julian Alden Weir’s sister Carrie represents a refined young American woman. The white dress serves to idealize the figure as the Greek goddess Flora. Only the title and the flowers, however, make this connection. The varied shades of white recall similar portrayals by Whistler, and the wonderful thick paint of the flowers indicates Weir’s move away from his academic training toward impressionism, a style that he first hated and then embraced.
This painting is currently on display at the BYU Museum of Art in the exhibition Shaping America.