Love's Messenger
Date: 1885
Medium: Watercolor, tempera, and gold paint on paper mounted on wood
Dimensions: 32 x 26 in. (81.3 x 66 cm) frame: 45 1/2 × 39 1/2 in. (115.6 × 100.3 cm)
Credit Line: Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935
Object Number: 1935-75
About: The subject of this painting does not appear to be based on any specific text, but instead suggests a plot and leaves it to the viewer to fill in the narrative details. Stillman worked in mixed media—gouache (watercolor mixed with opaque pigment), gum Arabic (a binding agent), pastel, and chalk. The combination of materials creates a rich surface which looks like oil paint, but with a slightly softer finish. This unusual combination of media was perhaps her way of traversing the gender gap in the Victorian art world.
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