Progress of Beauty 3

Accession Number

Progress of Beauty 3

Mark Kostabi

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink on paper

12 1/16 x 9 1/16 in. (30.5 x 23 cm)

Credit Line
The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the Nation Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services

Label copy
Mark Kostabi
United States, born 1960
Progress of Beauty 3
Ink on paper

Subject matter
Based on the painting by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher (1662) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In this work, Vermeer’s painting has been rendered in linear form: stained glass window, wall, shadow thrown by window, the woman’s head and shoulder covering and bodice, tablecloth, basin and pitcher, the map on the wall behind her; the jewelry box has been changed to a cash register.
Kostabi describes himself as a “corporate artist” who makes “business art”—work in which market mechanisms, commodification and commercialization are not separated from the traditional realms of aesthetics and creativity. The woman with pitcher is rendered as the “everyman” figure in his paintings—smooth, featureless, tonally modeled form.

Physical Description
Line drawing in felt tip marker on ivory ~ 10x13” paper with shading. Woman’s arm and dress and the cash register are partially filled in with black, as well as a pane of the stained glass window that she holds. The wall, pitcher, parts of the woman’s head and shoulder covering and bodice, and cash register have been modeled in stylized “half tone” of zigzag separating white and black; shadows take the form of dense curlicues. The tablecloth bears a “pattern” of crosses and eye-shaped forms. The map has been filled in with fingerprints.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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Dutch (culture or style)
business (commercial function)
copies (derivative objects)
figurative art
illustration (process)
pitchers (vessels)
women (female humans)

3 Related Resources

Women and the Trades
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
C2 - Fouhey - computer vision, 2d / 3d
(Part of: Curriculum/Collection)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved