description of Woman in Profile by Richard Diebenkorn

This five-and-a-half foot tall, almost five-foot wide oil painting depicts a woman seated beside a glass wall. Throughout the painting, the brushstrokes are loose, bold, and easily discernible, and the palette is fairly subdued. The woman sits inside at a table, just to our right of center, facing the left-hand side of the canvas. Her dress is a soft, inky blue, and the table is a creamy white with heavy violet undertones. The skin on the woman’s bare arms and neck is a reddish-brown hue, but her stoic face has been rendered in gray with soft pink highlights, giving it the appearance of a plaster mask. The wall of glass separates the woman, and us, from the outside world, which features low green and red rolling hills under an open sky. In fact, we are further separated from the natural landscape by a large yellow deck or patio, which stretches out from the glass wall and ends at a thin, silver railing. The pale blue sky fills the top third of the canvas, and is covered by creamy off-white brushstrokes. Hints of olive green peek through the cloudy sky near the upper right hand corner.

Richard Diebenkorn, Woman in Profile, 1958
Richard Diebenkorn, Woman in Profile, 1958; oil on canvas, 68 1/8 in. x 59 in. (173.04 cm x 149.86 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Bequest of Howard E. Johnson; © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Woman in Profile
Artist name
Richard Diebenkorn
Date created
1958
Classification
painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
68 1/8 in. x 59 in. (173.04 cm x 149.86 cm)
Date acquired
1984
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Bequest of Howard E. Johnson
Copyright
© The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/84.196
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

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