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Emma Catherine Embury

Emma Catherine Embury
Auguste Edouart, 1788 - 1861
Emma Catherine Embury, 1806 - 1863
Lithograph and cut paper on paper
Image/Sheet: 28 × 21.1 cm (11 × 8 5/16")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16")
Frame: 47.9 × 37.8 × 3.2 cm (18 7/8 × 14 7/8 × 1 1/4")
Printed Material\Book
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Interior\Interior with Exterior View
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Emma Catherine Embury: Female
Emma Catherine Embury: Literature\Writer\Poet
Emma Catherine Embury: Journalism and Media\Journalist
Emma Catherine Embury: Society and Social Change\Socialite
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Robert L. McNeil, Jr.
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Auguste Edouart makes clear some of Emma Catherine Embury’s roles: she was an “Authoress,” “wife of Daniel,” and “Daughter of Dr. James Manley.” Embury first published while a teenager, under the pseudonym “Ianthe.” As an adult, her poems and stories appeared in widely read periodicals, such as Godey’s Lady’s Book. Like many other women writers of the time, her work focused on such themes as unrequited love and silent suffering. She also hosted literary salons at her commodious Brooklyn home.
Although Embury’s portrait lacks the extensive chalk or graphite highlights of other images by Edouart, he still provides many details. Note the spectacles that rest on her nose, the necklace or cord dangling on her chest, and the book she carries. He created her shadow by filling the area beneath her dress with wash (diluted ink). As is the case with other portraits, Edouart glued a pair of shoes on separately from the rest of her clothing.
Auguste Edouart consigna varios de los roles de Emma Catherine Embury: era “autora”, “esposa de Daniel” e “hija del Dr. James Manley”. Embury publicó sus primeros textos en la adolescencia con el seudónimo de “Ianthe”. De adulta, sus poemas y cuentos aparecieron en revistas de amplia difusión, tales como Godey’s Lady’s Book. Al igual que muchas mujeres escritoras de su época, trataba temas como el amor no correspondido y el sufrimiento en silencio. También organizaba reuniones literarias en su espa- ciosa residencia de Brooklyn.
Aunque el retrato de Embury no ostenta las minuciosas claridades en tiza o grafito de otras imágenes de Edouart, todavía se observan muchos detalles: sus gafas descansan sobre el puente de su nariz, lleva colgado al pecho un collar o cordón y en sus manos sostiene un libro. Para crear la silueta, el artista llenó el área debajo del vestido con una aguada (tinta diluida). Como en otros retratos, pegó por separado un par de zapatos a la vestimenta.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery