Lilla Cabot Perry, like many women artists overlooked by twentieth-century art historians, has only recently been given the attention she is due. During a career spanning many decades, she built an oeuvre of which Frank W. Benson said, “There was never truer, more direct and sincere painting.”
 Letter from Frank Benson to Lilla Cabot Perry, March 18, 1931 (original, Lilla Cabot Perry Papers, Special Collections, Colby College Library, Waterville, Maine; copy, Perry Family Archives, private collection)
More information about this painting...
Painted in 1896, Un Jour de Pluie captures one of the artist’s daughters seated near a window in the midst of a logical pastime for a showery afternoon, although we feel we may have interrupted her reading as the book falls casually in her lap and she meets our gaze. Margaret, Edith and Alice Perry spent their childhoods modeling for their mother’s work, yet she rarely identified them by name in her given titles, preferring to keep her figural work more general in theme. This facet was underscored by the critic for the Boston Evening Transcript in their review of the artist’s 1897 exhibition at the St. Botolph Club, in which Un Jour de Pluie may have been included: “Mrs. Perry’s models are her own daughters, and although the pictures are portraits, they are more than that alone, since there is in each work a thought which goes beyond the idea of likeness to the individual, and is in a sense more typical and of universal interest.” Un Jour de Pluie descended within the family of her youngest daughter Alice, who would have been fourteen at the time it was painted, thus supporting the theory that it is she who posed for her mother on this rainy day. Perry’s frequent choice to place her models near windows allowed her to apply her impressionist sensibilities to both the figure and landscape, yet the curtains are drawn in Un Jour de Pluie, bringing the viewer’s focus to the play of diffused light on the form of Alice and the nearby flowers and bureau.
 “The Fine Arts. Exhibition of Mrs. Perry’s Paintings at the St. Botolph Club,” Boston Evening Transcript, November 11, 1897.
Estate of the artist
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, New York, 1982
To private collection, 1982 to present
1). (handwritten on paper attached verso) No. 1 / Un Jour de Pluie / Artiste: Lilla Cabot Perry / Addresse: –aux—de (illegible) / Monsieur Mag— / 51 Rue de la Victoire / Paris
2). Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, with painting description
3). Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, with painting description (older label)
1). (possible) An Exhibition of Paintings by Mrs. T. S. Perry, St. Botolph Club, Boston, November 10 – 27, 1897, No. 8 A Rainy Day
2). (possibly) 67th Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, January 10 – February 22, 1898, No. 345 A Rainy Day