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Ann Buchan Robinson, 1831
48.89 x 22.86 x 19.05 cm
Signed and dated
Museum of the City of New York;
Gift of J. Philip Benkard II, 1958 (58.369.3)
One of the first works by David to enter an American collection, this privately commissioned portrait depicts the wife of Captain Henry Robinson (1782–1866), who operated a shipping firm between New York and Le Havre. David executed comparatively few busts of women, none of which exhibit the expressive intellect of his portraits of men. The bust of Ann Robinson is as coolly contained as the marble from which she is carved. David relished the depiction of hair, and Robinson’s up-to-date coiffure, with its curvilinear movement and twin ovular protuberances, is a memorable architectural confection.