Portrait of Nance O'Neil with Fan
Nance O'Neil was called the American Bernhardt, playing significant roles such as Lady Macbeth and Camille. She moved from theatre to silent film in 1915 after signing with William Fox. She was overshadowed by Fox's other star, Theda Bara, and returned to the theatre in 1918. O'Neil returned to talking films around 1929 and appeared in several early sound pictures. She has been quoted as saying that "tradition has made women cowardly". In this portrait, she looks down and to the right. Her eyes shifted away from the camera with a heavy gaze. She is draped in layers of mesh and black fabric. She rests one hand over her heart while the other holds a long paper fan that rests on her neck.