I don't like all Picasso's works of art, but I like this one, Seated Woman in Chemise, especially placed on the warm, red wall in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The casual, natural feel of the model with the blue background appeals to me. The painting is currently on loan from the Tate Museum in London.
In the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, people flock to John Trumball's iconic Portrait of Alexandar Hamilton. Children pull their parents over to see him. The broadway play must take credit for most of the enthusiasm of Hamilton.
The artist, John Trumbull had just as an interesting, historically important life as Hamilton - born in Lebanon, Connecticut in 1756, the son of Jonathan Trumbull, a colonial Royal Governor who embraced the partriot cause and Faith Robinson, a descendant of Pilgrim leader John Robinson.
Trumball entered Harvard at age 15, with the parents' wishes for him to be a lawyer or minister and he immediately became friends with John Singleton Copley, the leading portrait painter of the Colonies and began studying painting to the chagrin of his father.
When the Revolution fired up, Trumbull joined the Connecticut Regiment, witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill, which later was a subject of one of his historical paintings - caught the attention of General George Washington, and served until 1777. Determined to study painting in England, he delivered a letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin to study with the Official Painter of Historical Subjects to George III. Not too shabby. There he met a student, another famous portraitist, Gilbert Stuart. All was going well until his arrest and incarceration for allegedly being a British spy until several known artists convinced the king to set him free and leave London.
If you've been to the U.S. Capitol, you saw several historical paintings by Trumbull, notably The Declaration of Independence, a commission urged on by Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The man lived a Forrest Gumpesque life through his adult life, meeting the right people at the right time. He died in 1843, interred on the Yale Campus under the building which contained many of Trumbull's important works of art. The inscription over his tomb includes the words 'To his Country he gave his SWORD and his PENCIL.'
The young lady seems to be connecting with the sisters, Dorothea and Francesca Gilder, in this portrait by Cecilia Beaux. Beaux befriended the Gilder family while in Paris in 1896 and when after the artist moved to New York City, they became close friends. Beaux painted the family members often, especially the sisters. Her depiction is a tender, elegant portrait of a big sister teaching her little sister a dance step - something they often filled their days with.
Cecilia Beaux, an American, female painter was raised in both Philadelphia and New York City by relatives who nurtured her desire to become a painter - studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Paris. She developed an earned reputation as one of the best portrait painters, rivaling those like John Singer Sargent. After completing Dorothea and Francesca in 1898, she received important commissions, including portraits of Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Andrew Carnegie to name a few.
Dorothea and Francesca, among a few others by Beaux, hang in the Art Institute of Chicago.
"You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is... unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far." ~ Alice Neel
"If I had the energy, I would have done it all over the country" - Edward Hopper
"It's what you carry to an object that counts." - Andrew Wyeth
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"When I'm old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in."