The genre painter Charles Courtney Curran is best known for his canvases depicting beautiful ladies in pleasant settings. Here, a young woman–the artist’s wife Grace Wickham Curran–arranges a bouquet of snowballs, pausing to take in their sweet fragrance. The small scale of the painting matches the intimacy of the moment. Her delicate features, light green shawl and blossom-like hat equate her to a flower, suggesting that she is as lovely and dainty as the blooms she savors. Curran’s choice of flower is likely a deliberate one. At the time this work was painted, bouquets were used to convey messages, with each flower having a specific symbolic meaning. According to the Victorian “language of flowers,” the snowball symbolized thoughts of heaven, adding an air of Christian piety to this work.
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- Titles Lady with a Bouquet (Snowballs) (Proper)
- Artist Charles Courtney Curran, American, 1861 - 1942
- Medium oil on wood panel
- Dimensions 12 3/16 x 8 7/8 in. (31 x 22.5 cm) frame: 22 1/8 × 18 7/8 × 1 7/8 in. (56.2 × 47.9 × 4.8 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of Mr. W. Houston Blount, Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. Walter D. Clark; Dr. and Mrs. Orville W. Clayton; EBSCO Industries; Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Gotlieb; Estate of Mr. Clarence B. Hanson, Jr.; Mrs. W. W. McTyeire, Jr.; Estate of Mr. George H. Mathews; Mr. Joshua R. Oden, Jr.; Mr. William M. Spencer III; Mrs. Alys R. Stephens; Mr. Elton B. Stephens; Mr. Elton B. Stephens, Jr.; Mr. James T. Stephens; Mrs. Martee Woodward Webb; and Mr. Thomas M. West, Jr., 1985.134
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- On View
- Signature Recto, lower left: CHAS. C. CURRAN / PARIS. 90.
- Inscription Verso, top center, black stencil: G1416 Verso, center [encapsulated labels previously covered], black crayon: 126 / 6249 Verso, center left, black marker: B.M.A.289.1980 Frame, left rail, graphite: Saw off this frame at bottom at scratch Frame, bottom left, tiny blue circular sticker Frame, bottom left, black ink on white sticker: Curran / 289.1980 / Coe Kerr Backing board, encapsulated label, black typed sticker: No. 4827 [numbers in red ink] / FRAME / No. 4827 [numbers in red ink] / PICTURE Backing board, encapsulated label, typed label: HIRSCHL & ADLER / Galleries inc. / 21 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021 / ARTIST: CURRAN, C. / NUMBER: APG:2494 / TITLE: LADY WITH A BOUQUET / MEDIUM oil on panel / SIZE: 12 ¼ x 8-7/8 in. / DATE: 1890 Backing board, encapsulated label, typed: JORDAN- / VOLPE GALLERY / 457 WEST BROADWAY NEW YORK, N.Y. 10012 (212) 533-3900 / Charles C. Curran / Lady With A Bouquet / Oil on Panel
- Provenance Auctioned at Fine Americana, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, January 28, 1977, lot 642. Private collection, New York, until 1979; dealer Jordan Volpe Gallery, New York; dealer Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York; dealer Coe Kerr Gallery, New York; purchased by the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1985