Dorothy Treat Arnold (Mrs. Ledyard) Cogswell, Jr. (1892-1984)

Fritz Winold Reiss (1886-1953)
Date: c. 1925
Medium: Pastel, watercolor, and silver leaf on board
Dimensions: 11 1/4 H x 11 3/8 W
Inscription: Signed, lower right: WINOLD / REISS
Credit: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Cogswell
Accession Number: 1985.9.1
Comments: Fritz Winold Reiss was trained in Munich—then a center for progressive activity—and immigrated to the US in 1913, bringing the new modern style with him. He became a pioneer of the Art Deco style and excelled as an interior designer. Today, however, he's best known for his remarkable portraits. Here, he combines the decorative impact of flat, modernist silhouettes with a seemingly incompatible detailed realistic rendering of his subject's facial characteristics. This portrait exhibits the sense of dignity common to all his portraits, which also included those of her father and sister Katharine. Reiss's hyper-realistic style captures Dorothy's slightly careworn yet noble expression. Her face is thrust against a flat, silver-leaf background that recalls Gustav Klimt's decorative use of gold leaf in Vienna at the turn of the century.