Clara Weaver Parrish (American/Alabama, 1861-1925), "Profile of a Woman, possibly Anne Goldthwaite", oil on canvas laid down, signed lower right, 19 in. x 14 in., framed. Note: After studying at the Art Students League in New York under William Merritt Chase, Clara Parrish spent time in Paris, where her technique and style were influenced by the Art Nouveau movement and Gothic cathedrals. These two sources of inspiration greatly affected her work for the remainder of her career. Parrish designed stained glass inspired by the windows in the great cathedrals, yet modern in style, with natural forms, graceful shapes, and symmetrical compositions, working for a time for Louis Comfort Tiffany. Similarly, Parrish’s paintings included stained glass qualities and Art Nouveau aspects, using jewel-tone colors, stylized floral designs, and romantic poses.
Growing up in Selma, Alabama, Parrish often returned to her hometown and completed many paintings and stained glass installations there, overlapping with friend and fellow artist Anne Goldthwaite who spent her summers in Montgomery, Alabama. At least one painting of Goldthwaite by Parrish has been documented and several others, including the painting offered here, appear to portray Goldthwaite’s likeness with great similarities in the brow, nose, and mouth. The two artists’ works have been exhibited together and each leaves an important legacy to their home state of Alabama.