Dewing created a striking contrast between the precisely modeled face and arms, and the very free, feathery brushstrokes of the dress. The painting was exhibited in 1888 at the Boston Art Club, where it was purchased by Isabella Stewart Gardner with the help of Dennis Miller Bunker. The painting was then exhibited to considerable acclaim at the National Academy of Design and at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. Stanford White designed the frame, which is original to the painting. Mrs. Gardner hung the painting in the Yellow Room, a setting perfectly attuned to the hue of the woman’s dress.
Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 202