The Blue Mandarin Coat (The Blue Kimono)


Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (American, 1858–1923)




Oil on canvas


43 x 37 1/4 inches


Purchase with bequest of William Gordy, funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, the Fine Art Collectors with leadership gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Terry Stent, Mrs. Austin P. Kelley, and Mr. and Mrs. Allen P. McDaniel, Fay and Barrett Howell Fund, and through prior acquisitions from Mr. Raphael Esmerian, Mr. and Mrs. Francis L. Abreu, Friends of Art, Mrs. Carl Whiting Bishop, Mr. and Mrs. William Frey, Mrs. William Bailey Lamar, the Henry W. Ranger Fund, Bequest of Mrs. Hunt Chipley, Dr. Robert P. Coggins, Mrs. B. King Couper, Anna Hyatt Huntington, the Goldthwaite Estate, Mrs. J. M. High, Mrs. Clarence Blosser, Judge and Mrs. Marvin Underwood, the Rotary Club of Hitoyoshi, Mrs. Leonora S. Raines, The Westminster Schools, Mr. W. C. Hill, Miss Rosalie Howell, and D. Wigmore Fine Art, Vose Galleries, and Mr. and Mrs. Fred D. Bentley, Sr. to mark the retirement of Gudmund Vigtel

Accession #


On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 304

Among the most sought-after portraitists in New England, Joseph DeCamp concentrated on formal portraits of men and decorative images of women set in tasteful interiors. The Blue Mandarin Coat is a decorative piece, yet the model possesses a regal bearing typical of DeCamp’s male subjects. “Reddy” Pearson, an Irishwoman who served as DeCamp’s model and secretary in his final years, is shown draped in a stunning Japanese kimono—a bold and exotic choice of costume that, along with her assertive pose, contradicted contemporary models of femininity.