Image: The Sleeping Girl
(New York, 1836 - 1923, Rome)

The Sleeping Girl , 1879

Oil on canvas
15 in. x 18 1/4 in. (38.1 cm x 46.36 cm)
Bequest of Edwin C. Shaw
This painting of Ginditta, Vedder's Italian maid (he lived in Italy for most of his life), is more theatrical than a typical portrait.  Ginditta is dressed in a Renaissance-style costume and her pose is ambiguous-is she truly asleep or perhaps dead?  Vedder believed that sleep was closely linked with death, the state in which the soul might be fully awakened.   Although Vedder did not graphically emphasize this connection here, he did manage to imbue the image with a spirituality that is seen in so much of his art.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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