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Love's Melancholy

Painting of a woman wearing a long black dress with a white scarf tied around her neck. She holds a bouquet of flowers and wears a wedding ring, and looks down toward the ground with a solemn disposition. The sun sets in the background, illuminating a far away church steeple.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Painting of a woman wearing a long black dress with a white scarf tied around her neck. She holds a bouquet of flowers and wears a wedding ring, and looks down toward the ground with a solemn disposition. The sun sets in the background, illuminating a far away church steeple.

Date:

1866

Artist:

Constant Mayer
American, born France, 1832–1911

About this artwork

Constant Mayer specialized in sentimental scenes of everyday life yet he also displayed a fidelity to nature that harmonized with the detailed landscapes painted by contemporary artists known as the Pre-Raphaelites. The young woman’s black dress, solemn disposition, and wedding ring signal a state of mourning. A church steeple in the background symbolizes her faith and purity, while the vegetation and stonework in the foreground suggest that she stands near her loved one’s grave. The golden lighting, low vantage point, and the figure’s windblown hair contribute to the air of introspection. Executed just after the Civil War, Love’s Melancholy resonated with the American public, who likely came to know the painting through a color reproduction that was produced and distributed by 1869.

Status

On View, Gallery 174

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Constant Mayer

Title

Love's Melancholy

Origin

United States

Date

1866

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, lower right: "Constant Mayer / 1866"

Dimensions

51.4 × 35.6 cm (20 1/4 × 14 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Mrs. Herbert A. Vance

Reference Number

1994.6

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/131884/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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