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Showing posts from March, 2018

Cecilia Beaux, Portrait Goddess

Man with the Cat (Henry Sturgis Drinker), 1898


Born on May 1, 1855, Cecilia Beaux was an American portrait artist from Philadelphia. Often compared to John Singer Sargent for her loose brushwork, Beaux studied in Paris under Tony Robert-Fleury and William-Adolphe Bouguereau to craft a style that was distinctly her own. Beaux developed a less formal sensibility than Sargent, except in her commissioned portraits, yet she maintains a human warmth in her subjects that is more spontaneous at times, whereas Sargent composed his paintings with an austere elegance. Where Sargent experimented with light and costume Beaux held an empathy with her sitters that reveals a more relaxed style of portraiture. Beaux was known to be a very independent and headstrong woman who lived a full life with many lovers yet never lost her sensitivity for her subjects.

In Man with the Cat above, Beaux takes a rather ordinary pose and through her incredible brushwork transforms this painting into magic. Henry Stur…

Marie Cazin, Forgotten Impressionist

A Street in Normandy, ca. 1924

Born on the 19 of September in 1844 in western France, Marie Cazin was a French landscape painter and sculptor. Although little of her works appear online and she is often overshadowed by her artist husband, Jean-Charles Cazin, Marie was a painter of incredible mood and light. The period in which she was active was dramatic itself in that the established and conservative Salon of Paris was slowly loosing its stronghold on art and artists while Impressionism was beginning to emerge as a new art form. Cazin exhibited also in England and Belgium, where she found a herself as a painter that could capture the French countryside and sculpt people with equal brilliance.

In A Street in Normandy above, Cazin utilizes a distinct brushstroke that is not exactly Impressionist nor Post-Impressionist, but her own unique style. That warm faint glow of the sky in the distance between the buildings is poetry. What I admire about this painting also is how despite the mono…