information from the Smithsonian American Art Museum catalog
description: This is a portrait of the wife of Kenyon Cox’s friend the painter Lowell Dyer. In 1880, Cox exhibited the painting in Philadelphia, and also entered it in a Paris show under the French title Dame en noir. This masterful portrait sketch focuses our eyes on Mrs. Dyer’s spirited expression and tilt of the head. Cox’s fast brushwork gives the lavish hat ribbons tied at her neck the same exuberance as his sitter’s personality.