About the Artwork

William McGregor Paxton first studied art with Dennis Miller Bunker at the Cowles Art School in Boston, one of several independent academies that modeled themselves after the educational institutions of Paris. Paxton followed his teacher’s example and continued his training in France at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under the tutelage of one of the most famous French academicians, Jean-Léon Gérôme. There he perfected his technical knowledge of the human form and his preference for tightly painted, highly finished figure compositions. Upon his return to Boston, Paxton joined his older colleagues Edmund Tarbell and Frank Weston Benson as an instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Like many of his Boston colleagues, Paxton found inspiration in the work of the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Paxton was fascinated not only with Vermeer’s imagery, but also with the system of optics he employed. He studied Vermeer’s works closely, and discovered that only one area in his compositions was entirely in focus, while the rest were somewhat blurred. Paxton ascribed this peculiarity to “binocular vision,” crediting Vermeer with recording the slightly different point of view of each individual eye that combine in human sight. He began to employ this system in his own work, including The New Necklace, where only the gold beads are sharply defined while the rest of the objects in the composition have softer, blurrier edges.

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About Our Products

MFA Boston Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston collection. Thanks to gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
All reproductions you find in this store are approved by MFA Boston. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Member Discounts

Museum members will receive their member discount for all orders placed through our Custom Prints store. Simply enter your member id during the checkout process. Once your membership has been validated your discount will be applied.