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Walter MacEwen
A Belle of 1810
c.1900 - 1901
oil on canvas
Canvas: 74 3/8 × 33 3/4 inches (188.9 × 85.7 cm)Framed: 81 3/4 × 41 × 3 inches (207.6 × 104.1 × 7.6 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase wtih funds provided by George J. Baldwin, Alexander R. Lawton, William W. Mackall, and J. Florance Minis.
Accession Number
A native of Chicago, Walter MacEwen studied at Munich Academy in Germany before establishing studios in both Paris and Holland during the 1880s. MacEwen’s summer residence in the rustic Dutch village of Hattem inspired much of his subject matter, and he became well known for humble and charming scenes of daily life in rural Holland.

Around 1900, MacEwen temporarily turned his focus from Dutch subjects to elegant scenes of contemporary women. Belle of 1810 is drawn from a series of Empire costume subjects the artist produced around this time. A modern young woman of the early 20th century surveys her appearance in an antique gown, fashioned in the Empire style popular at the turn of the previous century. Made of elegant pink satin, its lustrous sheen rendered with meticulous precision, the gown is the true star of this painting.