Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot received a typical French education for women in mid-1800s; becoming well-read, well-informed, and accomplished in knitting, sewing, painting, and piano. Additional art lessons prepared her well for portraiture and domestic landscapes. The Cradle is among her most famous paintings.
The Bar at the Folies- Bergére
Édouard Manet made many visits to the Louvre Museum in Paris to further develop his interest in art. A trip to Spain inspired him to paint scenes of real life similar to the Spanish painter, Diego Velázquez. The Bar at the Folies-Bergere pays tribute to Frenchmen for building the great city of Paris using an allegory of wines of France.
Jan Van Eyck was born before 1390 in the Flemish region and served as a personal painter for the Duke of Burgundy. Arnolfini Portrait, also known as Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami, depicts the young couple in their Bruges home surrounded by lush textiles and other symbols of their social standing.
Last Days of Infancy
Cecilia Beaux’s was raised by her American grandmother and aunts who provided Beaux with a good education, including training in art. She eventually entered the art profession with all the dedication and ambition she could give. Last Day of Infancy is one of Beaux’s many painting for which Eleanor Roosevelt honored her.
The Blue Room
Susanne Valadon had an extremely difficult childhood and often spent her time unattended drawing. She observed artists in the Parisian community and learned from them. The Blue Room features a partial reclining figure in casual clothes, who smokes and reads books on a disheveled bed in a colorful room.
Place des Abbesses in the Snow
Teenage Maurice Valadon Utrillo was taught to paint by his artist mother as a diversion to his alcoholism. He loved to paint Paris cityscapes using the impasto style of painting. The application of thick paint onto the canvas provides a reflective and textural quality to Place des Abbesses in the Snow.
Dempsey and Firpo
George Wesley Bellows’ pastime was drawing and playing baseball in the sandlot near his home. He played a variety of sports at Ohio State University which he gave up to pursue his desire to be an artist. The fast-pace action and physicality of athletic events Bellows loved is evident in his famous painting, Dempsey and Firpo.
Liberty Enlightening the World (Statue of Liberty)
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi established himself as a successful sculptor by age twenty. He’d seen the ugliness of war and understood the price of freedom, making him the perfect sculptor to design a gift to post Civil-War America. Liberty Enlightening the World honors the American’s dream and hope for a better life.
The Schooner Progress Wrecked at Coney Island, July 4, 1874
Francis A. Silva was inspired by New England and its seascapes. Ships, rocky coasts and lighthouses served as metaphor for post–Civil War themes and later, human resiliency and the building of a new America. The Schooner Progress Wrecked at Coney Island, July 4, 1874 hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Self-Portrait with Two Pupils
Historically, female students were thought to be intellectually incapable of developing fully as a painter. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard not only found good teachers but proved the theory incorrect. Self-Portrait with Two Pupils is a stunning testament to her artistic endeavors.