Helen Corson Hovenden, Study for "Bringing Home the Bride"

Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill, 2018
14 in. x 12 in.

This is a drawing for a figure in Thomas Hovenden’s significant 1893 painting Bringing Home the Bride. The family of a newlywed groom appraises his young bride in a bright and cheery Victorian parlor. On the left side of the painting, a young girl sits in a window seat, partially hidden behind a curtain, and shyly glances up at the bride.

The drawing is an early conception of this figure, modeled by Hovenden’s eight-year-old daughter, Martha. (A younger version of Martha is represented in Woodmere's collection, Martha Hovenden and Her Dog painted by Hovenden's wife, Helen Corson Hovenden.) Although the window seat here is the same as in the painting, the figure of Martha is different. Here she looks directly at the viewer and crosses her arms, whereas in the final painting she looks at the bride and holds her arms at her sides.

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