La Madrilenita

A work made of oil on canvas.

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1910

Artist:

Robert Henri
American, 1865–1929

About this artwork

Robert Henri dedicated his career to painting portraits of those he called “my people,” namely, sitters who evoked a personal response in the artist. He found many appealing subjects while traveling in Spain, including matadors and picadors, gypsies, dressmakers, and performers. Henri admired the subject of La Madrileñita, a 15-year-old dancer named Josefa Cruz, for her talent and traditional training, as he later recalled: “Although very young she was already a very remarkable dancer at the time the painting was done, and it seemed to me that she had in her carriage … much of the spirit and dignity of old Spain.” Henri painted six
portraits of Cruz; in this version, completed over the course of two days, she turns her head to look over her shoulder, directly engaging the viewer in a poised and assured manner. Her enigmatic smile bears a sense of mystery that is heightened by the darkness beyond.

On View

American Art, Gallery 272

Artist

Robert Henri

Title

La Madrilenita

Origin

United States

Date

1910

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

58.4 × 48.3 cm (23 × 19 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Barbara S. Danielson

Reference Number

2014.1000

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 .

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