Wendel’s teaching post in Gloucester supplemented his earnings from painting sales, a critical need for an artist just launching his career, and he later became an instructor at Boston’s Cowles Art School from 1892 until 1897, where he met his future wife Philena Stone. The extra income, combined with his steady roster of exhibitions, soon allowed Wendel to feel more financially secure in his profession and in 1897 he and Philena were married, with artist and lifelong friend DeCamp serving as best man.
More information about this painting...
During a year-long honeymoon spent exploring France and Italy, the artist continued to find inspiring subject matter for his work. In Venice, he focused less on the grand palazzos and winding canals and more on capturing the city’s residents going about their daily activities, an emphasis that correlated to the genre pictures created over a decade earlier by his mentor Duveneck, according to Laurene Buckley. Consequently, his new bride was also a valued subject. In Portrait of the Artist’s Wife Philena, Venice, she is captured in a moment of repose in a garden, as spots of sunlight fall on her hair, shoulders and lace collar, with more brilliant pools illuminating the background greenery.
 Buckley. Theodore Wendel, 2018, p. 58-59.
By descent through the family of the artist
Bringing to Light: Theodore Wendel, Vose Galleries, Boston, October 19 – December 7, 2019