Before Sunrise

Maker(s)
Artist: Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)
Historical period(s)
1894-1895
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
H x W: 106.8 x 137.6 cm (42 1/16 x 54 3/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1894.22a-b
On View Location
Freer Gallery 10: Dewing’s Poetic World
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Oil painting

Keywords
landscape, morning, ukiyo-e, United States
Provenance

From 1894 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Thomas Wilmer Dewing in 1894 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]

Notes:

[1] Purchased from T. W. Dewing on September 10, 1894; presumably unfinished at purchase (see Curatorial Remark 7, May 26, 2009, in the object record). See also, Curatorial Remark 4, Linda Merrill, March 22, 1993, in the object file.

[2] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Thomas Wilmer Dewing (C.L. Freer source) 1851-1938
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

Painter Thomas Dewing received a package of prints imported from Japan while he was painting Before Sunrise, one of a series of decorative works for collector Charles Lang Freer's parlor. Dewing's graceful figures suggest leisure and elegance, and they may be seen as Western counterparts to the refined courtesans in Japanese ukiyo-e prints. The artist briefly considered calling his painting "Dedicated to Utamaro," in honor of the influential Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro (1754--1806). He later asked Freer to hang Japanese prints in the parlor so they could be easily compared with his paintings.

Published References
  • Susan Hobbs. Thomas Dewing in Cornish, 1885-1905. vol. XVII, no. 2 New York, Spring 1985. p. 18, fig. 17.
  • Susan Hobbs. The Art of Thomas Wilmer Dewing: Beauty Reconfigured. Exh. cat. Washington, 1996. p. 22, fig. 15.
  • Ulrich W. Hiesinger. Impressionism in America: The Ten American Painters. Munich and New York, 1991. p. 111, fig. 39.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. pp. 168, 170, fig. 116.
  • Katharina Neuburger. "Die amerikanische Erfahrung, oder: Weshalb Marcel Duchamp in New York Werke ausstellen konnte, die keine Kunst sind." The American experience, or: why Marcel Duchamp in New York could exhibit works that are not art. Universität zu Köln, Germany. p. 313, fig. 35.
  • Sarah Lea Burns. The Poetic Mode in American Paintings: George Fuller and Thomas Dewing. Ann Arbor, 1983. p. 418, fig. 44.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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