OLD MASTER PAINTINGS

Robert Henri

Salome by Robert Henri
Salome by Robert Henri

Interestingly enough, while the American painter Robert Henri (pronounced 'hen rye') was one of Bouguereau’s star pupils at the Académie Julian, he would come to entirely repudiate academic painting and embrace Impressionism, only to reject it later on as a "new academicism." Henri became one of the founders of the Ashcan School, the early 20th century movement of American realist painters whose works focused on the social realities of big city life. Ironically, Henri represented the modernist trend Bouguereau hoped to thwart, and essential lessons learned from the academic master were used by Henri as a springboard for the Ashcan revolution in art.

"Portrait of Miss Eulabee Dix in a Wedding Gown" (1910). At first glance, the life-sized painting seems an elegant tribute to a radiant bride. Dix's attire is majestic -- a dazzling white wedding dress dominates the painting. But Henri -- called the Monet of Manhattan - believed that portraits should reveal character rather than glorifying vanity.
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