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Portrait of Mrs. Ralph Sneyd (Mary Ellis Sneyd)

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

British, born Netherlands, 1836–1912

Portrait of Mrs. Ralph Sneyd (Mary Ellis Sneyd)

1889

Alma-Tadema most often painted portraits of his family and friends, but no personal ties to Mary Ellis Sneyd and her husband are known. This painting shows the sitter in the artist’s home, identified by its Mexican onyx window and Moorish table. Her gold rings and bracelets contrast with her muted dress and may be props—similar jewelry adorns the hands of classical maidens in the paintings of ancient scenes that made Alma-Tadema famous.

Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions 12 x 9 3/8 in. (30.5 x 23.8 cm)
Object Number 1996.12
Acquisition Gift of Michael Coe in memory of Sophie D. Coe, 1996
Status Off View

Image Caption

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Portrait of Mrs. Ralph Sneyd (Mary Ellis Sneyd), 1889, Oil on panel. Gift of Michael Coe in memory of Sophie D. Coe, 1996. The Clark Art Institute, 1996.12.

Bibliography

Swanson, Vern G. The Biography and Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. London: Garton & Co., 1990. Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.

Provenance

Commissioned by Ralph Sneyd, 1889; [N. Mitchell, London]; sale, Christie’s, London, 9 Nov. 1945, no. 85; Nicholson, London;¹ [Robert Isaacson Gallery, New York, by 1960, until at least 1962]; Michael D. Coe, New Haven (by 1991–96, given to the Clark, 4 Nov. 1996); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1996.

1. The early provenance of this picture is documented in Swanson 1990, p. 239.

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