|photo by Ann Tanner|
The Veiled Nun is an 1860 marble bust depicting a female figure. Despite the name, the woman depicted is not a nun. Sculpted by Italian artist Giuseppe Croff, it is considered one of the artist's greatest works. The bust was popular with visitors to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. from 1874 until the museum closed in 2014. The bust is now displayed in the National Gallery of Art.Here is a further description of the work.
The Veiled Nun is a 20.75 in (52.7 cm) tall marble bust depicting a female figure wearing a veil. The fine details give the illusion of the veil being opaque and transparent. Because of the woman's stylish coiffure and embroidered veil, she is not a nun, but rather a woman of means or an allegorical figure. According to photographer David Finn and art historian Susan Joy Slack, "the mysterious nature of the work, its inward focus, and the relative 'foreignness' of veiled figures to American museumgoers caused early visitors to refer to her as a nun, and the appellation has remained." The bust has been described as a "fine example of a detailed rendering of texture and form", a "tour de force of carving" and "carved to make stone look like silk".It is really one of the most remarkable things we have seen in the museums in Washington, D.C. By the way, the photo was made by my wife, Ann Tanner.