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Showing posts from August, 2018

Elizabeth Nourse, A Woman for the Ages

Born on the 26th of October, 1859 in southern Ohio, Elizabeth Nourse was an American portrait and landscape painter. Nourse was highly regarded in her day for her social realism and as a role model for female artists, and her extensive art education encompasses schools such as Art Students League of New York and Académie Julian. This is reflected in her work which has strong Classical sensibilities while exploring the feminine 19th century New Woman with incisive genre and portraiture that rivaled many of her contemporaries.


In La mere above, Nourse uses complementary colors to reinforce the bond between mother and child while balancing this with a blue that echoes the influence of Renaissance religious themes. The way the mother is posed here is so brilliant in that she is both strong and tender at the same time, and the way the drapery hangs in her lap brings to mind Leonardo. The way Nourse foreshortens the baby is unusual and interesting in its realism, showing us in this angle t…