Overpowered by the ponderous interior, a small young woman in a filmy white dress seems engulfed by darkness. Yet the scene contains signs of life: the open fan flutters as she tries to attract the attention of the kitten lying in her lap, which raises a paw in response to her teasing, bony fingers. Kathrin Crowell was the sister of Thomas Eakins's best friend, William. Two years after Eakins painted her portrait, she became the artist's fiancée; the engagement lasted for five years, until her death from meningitis at age twenty-eight.
Geography: Made in United States
Period: 19th century
Credit: Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903...