VFMA acquires new Cecilia Beaux
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts board of trustees have approved the acquisition of an 1888 oil on canvas portrait by American artist Cecilia Beaux, who was hailed at the turn of the 20th century as the “best woman painter in history.”
She is certainly one of my favorite painters, period.
The painting by Beaux (1855-1942) is a portrait of her fellow Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumni Alexander Harrison and measures 26 by 19-3/4 inches. An important transitional work, the portrait dates from Beaux’s formative period of study in Concarneau, an artist’s colony in Brittany, where she first began to lighten her palette and to paint outdoors.
According to Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and an expert on Beaux’s work, the Philadelphia native was an internationally acclaimed figure painter and portraitist “who also happened to be the most successful woman artist working in turn-of-the-century America.”