Executed in 1914, the same year Paxton co-founded the Guild of Boston Artists, 1875 (The Green Dress) exemplifies the timeless beauty the painters of the Boston School strove to create. Paxton organizes each element of the composition with extreme precision and showcases his talent through his ability to capture both light and texture. Ellen Wardwell Lee writes of this work, “Regardless of how intently Paxton’s model may study the porcelain figurine, the focal point of 1875 can be nothing other than her green silk costume. The dress was specifically made at the artist’s request and was also worn by Elizabeth Paxton in 1913 when she posed for a picture known as The Green Princess. An ideal vehicle for Paxton’s love of texture and penchant for pungent color, the gown absorbs all the composition’s light and casts its reflections on the floor below” (William McGregor Paxton 1869-1941, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1979, p. 133). 1875 was awarded the Lippincott Prize for best figure painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art’s 110th annual exhibition in 1915.
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