Unbound. Pastel portrait hand painted by Plath of her high school friend and classmate Arden Tapley, executed in pastels. Measuring 19" x 25". Framed and glazed. One intentional crease across the lower edge (probably so the image could be displayed without showing the subject's amateurishly executed hands) and a small red stamp lower left corner, else fine. Matted and framed to 23.25" x 30".
Undated, but probably from 1950, the year that Plath and Arden Tapley graduated together from Wellesley High School. Tapley's daughter recalled that her mother often spoke of her friendship with Sylvia, and that both were rather "shy, sensitive girls who naturally gravitated toward each other." She said that when she first saw this image she immediately recognized it as her mother, so Plath did capture an essence of her young friend, although admittedly her mastery of the craft of portraiture was limited.
We have never seen such an artwork by Plath offered on the market; her sketch of Ted Hughes that was done seven years later and sold for $49,000 was a considerably less "finished" work, albeit one that showed a more mature command of style and representation. All of Plath's significant art works have long been institutionalized. A heartfelt image of a close friend by the noted writer. Provenance on request.