Maude Valérie White is depicted full-length, facing right. The piano could be described as having a Sheraton revival case, a style revived in particular by Broadwood at the end of the nineteenth century in an attempt to evoke the elegance of the late English harpsichord case. The oval marquetry panel in the cheek, probably of satin wood, is typical, as is the coupled pair of lighter, tapered, front legs instead of a single fat turned or faceted leg of the old, dark grand piano. There would have been paired legs at the tail, and the corners of the case would not have been rounded – again an evocation of the harpsichord or early piano. The rest of the veneer was probably fairly highly figured mahogany with inlaid lines and other smaller decorative elements of satinwood. The whole keywell would probably be in satinwood with dark lines. This piano fits well into the Aesthetic movement atmosphere of the painting as evoked by the wainscot and flowers. The sitter studied at the Royal Academy of Music from 1876 to 1881.
Where to see this painting?
Royal Academy of Music
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