[Acrylic portrait of melancholic woman]

Dublin Core


[Acrylic portrait of melancholic woman]


Portrait painting--United States--20th century. [LCSH]
Women in art [LCSH]
Surrealism [LCSH]


Portrait of a melancholic woman, from the neck up, in acrylic on paper, mounted on thick, textured, camel-colored card stock (not pictured). This painting is done in the style of Expressionism, using unrealistic colors; the woman's skin is painted in shades of pinks and purples, for instance. She is facing slightly away from the viewer, left at a 3/4 angle. The figure has a thin, angular, waif-like face, and pointed chin, with a long, thin nose and a pointed chin and full lips. Her irises and pupils are a stark, solid, extremely deep blue color, very nearly black, and the outline of her eyes is suggested in a slightly lighter blue. She is resting her right hand against her right cheek, palm out, and fingers slightly curled. The thumb appears to run underneath her chin, her little finger resting just beneath her eye, the tip of her ring finger just below and to the right of her nose, and her middle and index fingers resting near the right side of her mouth. The woman's hair is full, long, straight, and straw-colored, with some yellow highlights near the crown of the head. There's a bright yellow area on the top of the woman's right shoulder. There is no evidence of clothing, though, and it's unclear what the yellow area is meant to represent. There are some green tones on the woman's neck, perhaps representing shadow, but her underlying skin color is still purple. The paint is applied thickly in this painting, particularly in the woman's hair. Different shades of pink and purple are used to create the contours of the face and imply shadows. The painting was done on paper taken from a pad, and there are both tabs along the top, near the crown of the head, and hole punches along the left side, three of which are visible. The bottom three centimeters of the paper was folded under along the bottom edge of the paper to make the working area smaller. The paper is torn inward at the middle hole punch and there are three creases running left to right across the paper in even increments where it must have been folded at one time. One crease runs across the woman's forehead, under her bangs. The second crease runs just under the bridge of the woman's nose and just below her eyes. The third crease runs through her wrist and just beneath her bottom lip, through the yellow paint on her right shoulder. Additionally, there's a section of paper missing from the top right of the painting, slightly impacting the depiction of the woman's hair.


Gillett, Janice




All rights held by Acacia Williams


Medium: acrylic on paper
Extent: 20.2 x 24.5 cm


Physical object




Gillett, Janice, “[Acrylic portrait of melancholic woman],” Wayne State University - School of Information Sciences, accessed March 2, 2024, https://waynestateu.omeka.net/items/show/775.