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Showing posts from August, 2019

Charles Courtney Curran, Kentucky Gem

Lady with a Bouquet, 1890


Born February 13, 1861 in Hartford, Kentucky, Charles Courtney Curran was an American painter and illustrator. He is known for his graceful and elegant paintings of women in natural surroundings with vibrant use of light and colour. His work has a highly feminine sensibility and is sometimes criticized for its sentimentality, but Curran's appreciation of both interiors and nature, light and sky, and beauty in its most unpretentious and natural form makes him worthy of study.


In Lady with a Bouquet, Curran turns a quiet moment of a woman's love of flowers into a thing of beauty herself. I don't think I've ever seen a painting with a green palette used in this way before. The folds of the woman's jacket are just right, not overstated or too simple, painted with a light stroke to emphasize texture yet with some of the underpainting visible in the shadows. The way her arm raises up to smell the bouquet, and the shape of her hat and her jacket…