Artwork of the Week: August 17

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Aimé-Jules Dalou (French, 1838–1902), Woman Reading, bronze, model about 1877; cast 1905–17. H: 22 in. Gallery 33

Although Aimé-Jules Dalou’s life ambition was to become a sculptor of public monuments, he found great success in sculpting tabletop interior scenes like Woman Reading. Dalou has captured an intimate moment of a woman absorbed in a book, a common and appropriate pastime for upper-class 19th-century women. The figure represents an archetype of a stylish woman of leisure, as evidenced by her delicate high heels, her voluminous robes, and the decorative chair she sits upon.

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