Thomas Hovenden, Studies for “Bringing Home the Bride”

Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill, 2018
8 ½ in. x 11 ¾ in.

This study for Thomas Hovenden’s Bringing Home the Bride includes two drawings of a woman with her arms raised, a pose that is not adopted by any figure in the final painting. Based on the style of the woman’s dress, this could be a drawing of the model for the bride. In the painting the bride stands in the center of the scene surrounded by her new husband’s family, her arms stretching behind her as her mother-in-law removes her coat.

Critics and the public celebrated the completed work. One newspaper art critic wrote that the figure of the bride represented “American maidenhood” and a “well-raised daughter of an American household; comely, wholesome, graceful, and attractive, sweet as a peach and good as gold.”

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