Cecelia Beaux, Lady in Black

Cecelia Beaux, Lady in Black

I really dig this Lady in Black painting [alternately titled, Mrs. D], by Cecelia Beaux I just love how she was really able to present a “glimpse of the moment.” Not sure who Mrs D is, or what the story behind this is, but she’s obviously wealthy and looks important with her little book. At first glance, I thought that might be a flag behind her, but it turns out to be the curtains.

Cecelia Beaux (1855-1942) is an American artist, who studied in Paris. She was primarily a portrait painter, which In those days, artists could make a comfortable living and was usually how they supported themselves.

I discovered Cecelia Beaux a while back when looking at John Singer Sargent, who was the renowned portraitist of the day. He could literally “catch” moments with his brush. With artists competing with the newly invented camera, this was a very important skill.

Just to put it in context, a painting like this would, no doubt, take several hours, yet she was able to make it look like a second in time.

Cecelia Beaux was the one female artist who could keep pace with Sargent. She has been compared to him, and it’s honestly hard to tell the difference between them. She gained her celebrity status by painting the portraits of people like Edith Roosevelt, Admiral Sir David Beatty and Georges Clemenceau.

#art, #artist #arthistory, #artpodcast, #portraiture, #impressionism

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