(American, 1869-1941)
Portrait of Ruth Gaston, Age 3
1899, oil on canvas
signed Paxton, u.l.
31 x 26 in., frame: 39 x 34 in.

Provenance: Commissioned by William A. Gaston, father of Ruth Gaston; by descent in the family to her grandson.

Other Notes: In 1899, Boston gentleman William A. Gaston commissioned William McGregor Paxton to paint this portrait of his three-year-old daughter, Ruth Gaston. The Gaston family was well-established in Boston: William's father was the Governor of Massachusetts and William was active on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and Harvard University. Ruth sat for the portrait at the Gaston family home in Boston's Back Bay, and the painting has hung in the homes of her descendants since that time. Paxton's confident, loose brushstrokes, bold use of color, and strong rendering of texture come together to make this painting a noteworthy representation of Paxton's early impressionistic style, examples of which are exceedingly rare a most were destroyed in a studio fire in the early twentieth century.

  • Condition: Very small paint loss along upper edge (center, visible in image); otherwise in overall good condition.

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