Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.
Clara Erskine Clement
Part 6 out of 7
Mont Saleve, and nearer the time-honored towers of the Cathedral of St.
Pierre. Here is a composition dealing with simple life--a composition
which, from the point of execution, color, and harmony of purpose, leaves
little or nothing to be desired. But this is not all. It is, so to speak,
an artistic _resume_ of the life and history of the old city, and that
strongly portrayed national type gathers dignity from his alliance with
the generations who helped to make one of the main interests of the city,
and from his relationship to that eventful past suggested by the
Cathedral and the Mountain.
"Mlle. Rapin is unmistakably one of the best Swiss portraitists, working
for the most part in pastels, her medium by predilection; she has at the
same time modelled portraits in bas-relief. We are not only impressed by
the intensely living quality of her work as a portraitist, but by the
extraordinary power with which she has seized and expressed the
individual character and history of each of her subjects."
Mlle. Rapin has exhibited her works with success in Paris, Munich, and
Berlin. The few specimens of her bas-reliefs which I have seen prove that
did she prefer the art of sculpture before that of painting, she would be
as successful with her modelling tools as she has been with her brush.
RAPPARD, CLARA VON. Second-class medal, London. Born at Wabern, near
Berne, 1857. After studying with Skutelzky and Dreber, she worked under
Gussow in Berlin. She spent some time in travel, especially in Germany
and Italy, and then, choosing Interlaken as her home, turned her
attention to the illustration of books, as well as to portrait and genre
painting. In the Museum at Freiburg is her "Point-lace-maker." A series
of sixteen "Phantasies" by this artist has been published in Munich.
RATH, HENRIETTE. Honorary member of the Societe des Arts, 1801. Born
in 1772, she died in 1856 at Genf, where, with her sister, she founded
the Musee Rath. She studied under Isabey, and was well and favorably
known as a portrait and enamel painter.
REAM, VINNIE. See Hoxie.
REDMOND, FRIEDA VOELTER. Medal at the Columbian Exhibition, Chicago.
Member of the Woman's Art Club. Born in Thun, Switzerland. Studies made
in Switzerland and in Paris. A painter of flowers and still-life.
"Mrs. Redmond is a Swiss woman, now residing in New York. She has
exhibited her works in the Paris Salon, in the National Academy of
Design, at the Society of American Artists' exhibitions, etc., and was
awarded a medal at the World's Fair in Chicago. Her work is not only
skilful and accurate in description and characterization; it is done with
breadth and freedom, and given a quality of fine decorative distinction.
Her subjects are roses, cyclamen, chrysanthemums, nasturtiums, double
larkspurs, cinneraria, etc., and she makes each panel a distinct study in
design, with a background and accessories of appropriate character. For
example, the three or four large panels of roses painted at Mentone have
a glimpse of the Mediterranean for background, and a suggestion of
trellis-work for the support of the vine or bush; and in another rose
panel we have a tipped-over Gibraltar basket with its luscious contents
strewed about in artful confusion. The double larkspurs make very
charming panels for decorative purposes. They are painted with delightful
fulness of color and engaging looseness and crispness of touch."--_Boston
REGIS, EMMA. This Roman painter has given special attention to
figures, and has executed a number of portraits, one of the best of which
is that of the Marchioness Durazzo Pallavicini. She has exhibited some
delightful work at Turin and at Rome, such as "The Lute-Player," "All is
not Gold that Glitters," "Humanity," and "In illo Tempore?"
[_No reply to circular_.]
REINHARDT, SOPHIE. Born at Kirchberg, 1775; died at Karlsruhe, 1843.
Pupil of Becker. She travelled in Austro-Hungary and Italy. In the
Kunsthalle at Karlsruhe is her picture of "St. Elizabeth and the Child
John." Among her best works are "The Death of St. Catherine of
Alexandria," "The Death of Tasso," and twelve illustrations for a volume
of Hebel's poems.
REMY, MARIE. Born in Berlin, 1829. Daughter of Professor August Remy
of the Berlin Academy. Pupil of her father, Hermine Stilke, and Theude
Groenland. She travelled extensively in several European countries, making
special studies in flowers and still-life, from which many of her
water-colors were painted; twenty of these are in the Berlin National
REUTER, ELIZABETH. Born in Lubeck, 1853. Pupil of Zimmermann in
Munich, A. Schliecker in Hamburg, and of H. Eschke in Berlin. She also
went to Duesseldorf to work in the Gallery there. Later she travelled in
Scandinavia. Her best pictures are landscapes. Among them is a charming
series of six water-colors of views in the park of Friedrichsruhe.
REVEST, CORNELIA LOUISA. Second-class medals in 1819 and 1831 in
Paris. Born in Amsterdam, 1795; died in Paris, 1856. Pupil of Serangely
and Vafflard in Paris. In 1814 she painted a "Magdalen at the Feet of
Christ" for a church in Marseilles. She also painted many good portraits
and a picture called "The Young Mother Playing the Mandolin."
RICHARD, MME. HORTENSE. Honorable mention, Exposition of 1889;
third-class medal, 1892; silver medals at Antwerp and Barcelona, and gold
medal in London. Born at Paris, 1860. Pupil of James Bertrand, Jules
Lefebvre, and Bouguereau. Has exhibited regularly since 1875. Her
picture of "Cinderella" is in the Museum of Poitiers; "At Church in
Poitou" is in the Luxembourg. She has painted many portraits.
RICHARDS, ANNA MARY. Norman Dodge prize, National Academy, New York,
1890. Member of the '91 Art Club, London. Born at Germantown,
Pennsylvania, 1870. Pupil of Dennis Bunker in Boston, H. Siddons Mowbray
and La Farge in New York, Benjamin Constant and J. P. Laurens in Paris,
and always of her father, W. T. Richards.
Miss Richards' work is varied. She is fond of color when suited to her
subject; she also works much in black and white. When representing nature
she is straightforward in her rendering of its aspects and moods, but she
also loves the "symbolic expression of emotion" and the so-called
"allegorical subjects." The artist writes: "I simply work in the way that
at the moment it seems to me fitting to work to express the thing I have
in mind. Where the object of the picture is one sort of quality, I use
the method that seems to me to emphasize that quality."
When but fourteen years old this artist exhibited at the National
Academy, New York, a picture of waves, "The Wild Horses of the Sea,"
which was immediately sold and a duplicate ordered. In England Miss
Richards has exhibited at the Academy, and her pictures have been
selected for exhibitions in provincial galleries. Miss Richards is
earnestly devoted to her art, and has in mind an end toward which she
diligently strives--not to become a painter distinguished for clever
mannerism, but "to attain a definite end; one which is difficult to reach
and requires widely applied effort."
Judging from what she has already done at her age, one may predict her
success in her chosen method. In February, 1903, Miss Richards and her
father exhibited their works in the Noe Galleries. I quote a few press
[Illustration: MAY DAY AT WHITELANDS COLLEGE, CHELSEA
ANNA M. RICHARDS]
"Miss Richards paints the sea well; she infuses interest into her
figures; she has a love of allegory; her studies in Holland and Norway
are interesting. Her 'Whitby,' lighted by sunset, with figures massed in
the streets in dark relief against it, is beautiful. Her 'Friends,'
showing two women watching the twilight fading from the summits of a
mountain range, the cedared slopes and river valley below meantime
gathering blueness and shadow, is of such strength and sweetness of fancy
that it affects one like a strain of music."
"Miss Richards becomes symbolic or realistic by turn. Some of her figures
are creatures of the imagination, winged and iridescent, like the 'Spirit
of Hope.' Again, she paints good, honest Dutchmen, loafing about the
docks. Sometimes she has recourse to poetry and quotes Emerson for a
title.... If technically she is not always convincing, it is apparent
that the artist is doing some thinking for herself, and her endeavors are
in good taste."
Miss Richards has written "Letter and Spirit," containing fifty-seven
"Dramatic Sonnets of Inward Life."
These she has illustrated by sixty full-page pictures. Of these
drawings the eminent artist, G. F. Watts, says: "In imaginative
comprehension they are more than illustrations; they are interpretations.
I find in them an assemblage of great qualities--beauty of line, unity
and abundance in composition, variety and appreciation of natural
effects, with absence of manner; also unusual qualities in drawing,
neither academical nor eccentric--all carried out with great purity and
RICHARDS, SIGNORA EMMA GAGIOTTI. Rome.
[_No reply to circular_.]
RIES, THERESE FEODOROWNA. Bronze medal at Ekaterinburg; Karl Ludwig
gold medal, Vienna; gold medal, Paris Exposition, 1900. Officer of the
Academy. Born in Moscow. Pupil of the Moscow Academy and of Professor
Hellmer, Vienna, women not being admitted to the Vienna Academy.
A critic in the _Studio_ of July, 1901, who signs his article A. S. L.,
writes as follows of this remarkable artist: "Not often does it fall to
the lot of a young artist to please both critic and public at the same
time, and, having gained their interest, to continue to fill their
expectations. But it was so with Feodorowna Ries, a young Russian artist
who some eight months ago had never even had a piece of clay in her hand,
but who, by dint of 'self,' now stands amongst the foremost of her
profession. It was chance that led Miss Ries to the brush, and another
chance which led her to abandon the brush for the chisel. Five years ago
she was awarded the Carl Ludwig gold medal for her 'Lucifer,' and at the
last Paris Exhibition she gained the gold medal for her 'Unbesiegbaren'
"Miss Ries was born and educated in Moscow, but Vienna is the city of her
adoption. She first studied painting at the Moscow Academy, her work
there showing great breadth of character and power of delineation. At the
yearly Exhibition in Moscow, held some five months after she had entered
as a student, she took the gold medal for her 'Portrait of a Russian
Peasant.' She then abandoned painting for sculpture, and one month later
gained the highest commendations for a bust of 'Ariadne.' She then began
to study the plastic art from life. Dissatisfied with herself, although
her 'Somnambulist' gained a prize, Miss Ries left Moscow for Paris, but
on her way stayed in Vienna, studying under Professor Hellmer. One year
later, at the Vienna Spring Exhibition, she exhibited her 'Die Hexe.'
Here is no traditional witch, though the broomstick on which she will
ride through the air is _en evidence_. She is a demoniac being, knowing
her own power, and full of devilish instinct. The marble is full of life,
and one seems to feel the warmth of her delicate, powerfully chiselled,
though soft and pliable limbs."
"'Die Unbesiegbaren' is a most powerful work, and stood out in the midst
of the sculpture at Paris in 1900 with the prominence imparted by unusual
power in the perception of the _whole_ of a subject and the skill to
render the perception so that others realize its full meaning. There are
four figures in this group--men drawing a heavy freight boat along the
shore by means of a towline passed round their bodies, on which they
throw their weight in such a way that their legs, pressed together, lose
their outline--except in the case of the leader--and are as a mass of
power. They also pull on the line with their hands. The leader bends over
the rope until he looks down; the man behind him raises his head and
looks up with an appealing expression; the two others behind are exerting
all their force in pulling on the rope, but have twisted the upper part
of the body in order to look behind and watch the progress of their great
burden. There is not the least resemblance of one to the other, either in
feature or expression, and to me it would seem that the woman who had
conceived and executed this group might well be content to rest on her
"But an artistic creator who is really inspired with his art and not with
himself is never satisfied; he presses on and on--sometimes after he has
expressed the best of his talent. This is not yet reached, I believe, by
Miss Ries, and we shall see still greater results of her inspiration."
The Austrian Government commissioned this artist to execute the figure of
a saint. One may well prophesy that there will be nothing conventional in
this work. She has already produced a striking "Saint Barbara." Her
portrait busts include those of Professor Wegr, Professor Hellmer, Mark
Twain, Countess Kinsky, Countess Palffs, Baron Berger, and many others.
RIJUTINE, ELISA. A bronze and a gold medal at the Beatrice
Exposition, Florence, 1890. Born in Florence, where she resides and
devotes herself to painting in imitation of old tapestries. An excellent
example of her work is in water-colors and is called "The Gardener's
Children." In 1888 and 1889 she exhibited "The Coronation of Esther" and
a picture of "Oleanders."
ROBERTS, ELIZABETH WENTWORTH.
[_No reply to circular_.]
ROBINSON, MRS. IMOGENE MORRELL. Medals at the Mechanics' Fair,
Boston, and at the Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, 1876. Born in
Attleborough, Massachusetts. Pupil of Camphausen in Duesseldorf, and of
Couture in Paris, where she resided several years. Among her important
works are "The First Battle between the Puritans and Indians" and
"Washington and His Staff Welcoming a Provision Train," both at
Philadelphia. Mrs. Morrell continued to sign her pictures with her maiden
name, Imogene Robinson.
A critic of the New York _Evening Post_ said of her pictures at
Philadelphia: "In the painting of the horses Mrs. Morrell has shown great
knowledge of their action, and their finish is superb. The work is
painted with great strength throughout, and its solidity and forcible
treatment will be admired by all who take an interest in Revolutionary
history.... In the drawing of the figures of Standish and the chief at
his side, and the dead and dying savages, there is a fine display of
artistic power, and the grouping of the figures is masterly.... In color
the works are exceedingly brilliant."
ROBUSTI, MARIETTA. Born in Venice. 1560-1590. The parentage of this
artist would seem to promise her talent and insure its culture. She was
the daughter of Jacopo Robusti, better known as "Il Tintoretto," who has
been called "the thunder of art," and who avowed his ambition to equal
"the drawing of Michael Angelo and the coloring of Titian."
The portrait of Marietta Robusti proves her to have been justly
celebrated for her beauty. Her face is sweet and gentle in expression.
She was sprightly in manner and full of enthusiasm for anything that
interested and attracted her; she had a good talent for music and a
charming voice in singing.
Her father's fondness for her made him desire her constant companionship,
and at times he permitted her to dress as a boy and share with him
certain studies that she could only have made in this disguise.
Tintoretto carefully cultivated the talents of his daughter, and some of
the portraits she painted did her honor. That of Marco dei Vescovi first
turned public attention to her artistic merits. The beard was especially
praised and it was even said by good judges that she equalled her father.
Indeed, her works were so enthusiastically esteemed by some critics that
it is difficult to make a just estimate of her as an artist, but we are
assured of her exquisite taste in the arrangement of her pictures and of
the rare excellence of her coloring.
It soon became the fashion in the aristocratic circles of Venice to sit
for portraits to this fascinating artist. Her likeness of Jacopo Strada,
the antiquarian, was considered a worthy gift for the Emperor Maximilian,
and a portrait of Marietta was hung in the chamber of his Majesty.
Maximilian, Philip II. of Spain, and the Archduke Ferdinand, each in
turn invited Marietta to be the painter of his Court.
Tintoretto could not be induced to be separated from his daughter, and
the honors she received so alarmed him that he hastened to marry her to
Mario Augusti, a wealthy German jeweller, upon the condition that she
should remain at home.
But the Monarch who asks no consent and heeds no refusal claimed this
daughter so beloved. She died at thirty, and it is recorded that both her
father and her husband mourned for her so long as they lived. Marietta
was buried in the Church of Santa Maria dell' Orto, where, within sight
of her tomb, are several of her father's pictures.
Tintoretto painting his daughter's portrait after her death has been the
subject of pictures by artists of various countries, and has lost nothing
of its poetic and pathetic interest in the three centuries and more that
have elapsed since that day when the brave old artist painted the
likeness of all that remained to him of his idolized child.
ROCCHI, LINDA. Born in Florence; she resides in Geneva. Two of her
flower pieces, in water-color, were seen at the Fine Arts Exposition,
Milan, 1881. In 1883, also in Milan, she exhibited "A Wedding Garland,"
"Hawthorne," etc. The constantly increasing brilliancy of her work was
shown in three pictures, flowers in water-colors, seen at the Milan
Exposition, 1886. To Vienna, 1887, she sent four pictures of wild
flowers, which were much admired.
ROCCO, LILI ROSALIA. Honorable mention, a bronze medal, and four
silver medals were accorded this artist at the Institute of Fine Arts in
Naples, where she studied from 1880 to 1886, and was also a pupil of
Solari. Born in Mazzara del Vallo, Sicily, 1863. In 1886 she exhibited,
at Naples, "Cari Fiori!" at Palermo, "Flora"; and in Rome, "A Sicilian
Contadina." In 1888 her picture, "Spring," was exhibited in London. Two
of her works were in the Simonetti Exposition, 1889, one being a marine
view from her birthplace. She has painted many portraits, both in oils
and water-colors, and has been appointed a teacher in at least two
Government schools in Naples.
RODIANA, ONORATA. Was a contemporary of the saintly Caterina de
Vigri, but was of quite another order of women. She had one quality
which, if not always attractive, at least commands attention. She was
unique, since we know of no other woman who was at the same time a
successful artist and a valiant soldier!
Born in Castelleone, near Cremona, early in the fifteenth century, she
was known as a reputable artist while still young, and was commissioned
to decorate the palace of the tyrant, Gabrino Fondolo, at Cremona. The
girlish painter was beautiful in person, frank and engaging in manner,
and most attractive to the gentlemen of the tyrant's court.
One day when alone and absorbed in the execution of a wall-painting, a
dissolute young noble addressed her with insulting freedom. She could not
escape, and in the struggle which ensued she drew a dagger and stabbed
her assailant to the heart.
Rushing from the palace, she disguised herself in male attire and fled to
the mountains, where she joined a company of Condottieri. She soon became
so good a soldier that she was made an officer of the band.
Fondolo raged as tyrants are wont to do, both on account of the murder
and of the escape. He vowed the direst vengeance on Onorata if ever she
were again in his power. Later, when his anger had cooled and he had no
other artist at command who could worthily complete her decorations, he
published her pardon and summoned her to return to his service.
Onorata completed her work, but her new vocation held her with a potent
spell, and henceforth she led a divided life--never entirely
relinquishing her brush, and remaining always a soldier.
When Castelleone was besieged by the Venetians, Onorata led her band
thither and was victorious in the defence of her birthplace. She was
fatally wounded in this action and died soon after, in the midst of the
men and women whose homes she had saved. They loved her for her bravery
and deeply mourned the sacrifice of her life.
Few stories from real life are so interesting and romantic as this, yet
little notice has been taken of Onorata's talent or of her prowess, while
many less spirited and unusual lives have been commemorated in prose and
RODRIGUEZ DE TORO, LUISA. Honorable mention, Madrid, 1856, for a
picture of "Queen Isabel the Catholic Reading with Dona Beatriz de
Galindo"; honorable mention, 1860, for her "Boabdil Returning from
Born in Madrid; a descendant of the Counts of Los Villares, and wife of
the Count of Mirasol. Pupil of Carlos Ribera.
RONNER, MME. HENRIETTE. Medals and honorable mentions and elections
to academies have been showered on Mme. Ronner all over Europe. The King
of Belgium decorated her with the Cross of the Order of Leopold. Born in
Amsterdam in 1821. The grandfather of this artist was Nicolas Frederick
Knip, a flower painter; her father, Josephus Augustus Knip, a landscape
painter, went blind, and after this misfortune was the teacher of his
daughter; her aunt, for whom she was named, received medals in Paris and
Amsterdam for her flower pictures. What could Henriette Knip do except
paint pictures? Hers was a clear case of predestination!
At all events, almost from babyhood she occupied herself with her pencil,
and when she was twelve years old her blind father began to teach her.
Even at six years of age it was plainly seen that she would be a painter
of animals. When sixteen she exhibited a "Cat in a Window," and from that
time was considered a reputable artist.
In 1850 she was married and settled in Brussels. From this time for
fifteen years she painted dogs almost without exception. Her picture
called "Friend of Man" was exhibited in 1850. It is her most famous work
and represents an old sand-seller, whose dog, still harnessed to the
little sand-wagon, is dying, while two other dogs are looking on with
well-defined sympathy. It is a most pathetic scene, wonderfully
About 1870 she devoted herself to pictures of cats, in which specialty of
art she has been most important. In 1876, however, she sent to the
Philadelphia Exposition a picture of "Setter Dogs." "A Cart Drawn by
Dogs" is in the Museum at Hanover; "Dog and Pigeon," in the Stettin
Museum; "Coming from Market" is in a private collection in San Francisco.
Mme. Ronner has invented a method of posing cats that is ingenious and of
great advantage. To the uninitiated it would seem that one could only
take the portrait of a sleeping cat, so untiring are the little beasts in
their gymnastic performances. But Mme. Ronner, having studied them with
infinite patience, proceeded to arrange a glass box, in which, on a
comfortable cushion, she persuades her cats to assume the positions she
desires. This box is enclosed in a wire cage, and from the top of this
she hangs some cat attraction, upon which the creature bounds and shows
those wonderful antics that the artist has so marvellously reproduced in
her painting. Mme. Ronner has two favorite models, "Jem" and "Monmouth."
The last name is classical, since the cat of Mother Michel has been made
Miss Winslow, in "Concerning Cats," says that "Mme. Ronner excels all
other cat painters, living or dead. She not only infuses a wonderful
degree of life into her little figures, but reproduces the shades of
expression, shifting and variable as the sands of the sea, as no other
artist of the brush has done. Asleep or awake, her cats look to the"
felinarian "like cats with whom he or she is familiar. Curiosity,
drowsiness, indifference, alertness, love, hate, anxiety, temper,
innocence, cunning, fear, confidence, mischief, earnestness, dignity,
helplessness--they are all in Mme. Ronner's cats' faces, just as we see
them in our own cats."
It is but a short time ago that Mme. Ronner was still painting in
Brussels, and had not only cats, but a splendid black dog and a cockatoo
to bear her company, while her son is devoted to her. Her house is large
and her grounds pleasant, and her fourscore years did not prevent her
painting several hours a day, and, like some other ladies of whom we
know, she was "eighty years young."
The editor of the _Magazine of Art_, M. H. Spielman, in an article on the
Royal Academy Exhibition, 1903, writes: "What the dog is to Mr. Riviere,
to Madame Ronner is the cat. With what unerring truth she records
delightful kittenly nature, the feline nobility of haughty indifference
to human approval or discontent, the subtlety of expression, and drawing
of heads and bodies, the exact quality and tone of the fur, the
expressive eloquence of the tail! With all her eighty years, Madame
Ronner's hand, vision, and sensibility have not diminished; only her
sobriety of color seems to have increased." Her pictures of this year
were called "The Ladybird" and "Coaxing." To the Exhibition of the
Beaux-Arts in Brussels, 1903, Mme. Ronner sent pictures of cats, full of
life and mischief.
ROOSENBOOM, MARGARITE VOGEL. Second-class medal, Munich, 1892. Born
in 1843 and died in 1896, near The Hague. She spent a large part of her
life near Utrecht, devoting herself mainly to the painting of flowers.
One of her works is in the Royal Museum at Amsterdam, and another in the
Museum at Breslau.
ROPE, ELLEN M. This English sculptor executed four large panels for
the Women's Building at the Chicago Exhibition. They represented Faith,
Hope, Charity, and Heavenly Wisdom. They are now in the Ladies' Dwelling,
Cherries Street, London. A "Memorial" by her is in Salisbury Cathedral.
Her reliefs of children are, however, her best works; that of a "Boy on a
Dolphin" is most attractive. "Christ Blessing Little Children" is
At the Academy, 1903, she exhibited a panel for an organ chamber, in low
ROSA, ANIELLA DI. 1613-1649. A pupil in Naples of Stanzioni, who, by
reason of her violent death, has been called the Neapolitan Sirani. She
acquired a good reputation as a historical painter and doubtless had
unusual talent, but as she worked in conjunction with Stanzioni and with
her husband, Agostino Beltrano, it is difficult to speak of works
entirely her own.
Two pictures that were acknowledged to be hers represented the birth and
death of the Virgin; these were praised and were at one time in a church
in Naples, but in a recent search for them I was unable to satisfy myself
that the pictures I saw were genuine.
Another pupil in the studio of Stanzioni was the Beltrano whom Aniella
married. He painted in fresco, Aniella in oils, and they were frequently
employed together. The fine picture of San Biagio, in the church of Santa
Maria della Sanita, was one of their joint works.
Their early married life was very happy, but Aniella was beautiful and
Beltrano grew jealous; it is said without cause, through the influence of
a woman who loved him and hated Aniella; and in spite of the efforts she
made to merit her husband's confidence, his distrust of her increased.
Her base rival, by her art and falsehood, finally succeeded in convincing
Beltrano that Aniella was unworthy, and in his rage he fatally stabbed
her, when, at thirty-six, she was in the prime of her beauty and talent.
She survived long enough to convince her husband of her innocence and to
pardon him for his crime, but he fled from Italy and lived the life of an
outcast during ten years. He then returned to Naples, where after seven
years, tormented by remorse, death came to his release.
Domenici generously praised the works of Aniella, and quoted her master,
Stanzioni, as saying that she was the equal of the best painters of her
ROSALBA. See Carriera.
ROSSI, PROPERZIA DE. Born in Bologna. 1490-1530. This artist was the
first woman to succeed as a sculptor whose works can still be seen. Pupil
of Raimondi, she was more or less influenced by Tribolo. In the Church of
San Petronio, in her native city, in the eleventh chapel, is a beautiful
bas-relief of two angels, executed by Properzia. They are near Tribolo's
"Ascension." A relief and a portrait bust in the same church are also
ascribed to her.
Her first work in sculpture was a minute representation of the
Crucifixion on a peach stone! The executioners, women, soldiers, and
disciples were all represented in this infinitesimal space. She also
inserted in a coat of arms a double-headed eagle in silver filigree;
eleven peach stones on each side, one set representing eleven apostles
with an article of the creed underneath, the other set eleven virgins
with the name of a saint and her special attribute on each. Some of these
intaglios are still in a private collection in Bologna.
At length Properzia saw the folly of thus belittling her talent, and when
the facade of San Petronio was to be enriched with sculpture she asked
for a share in the work and presented a bust she had made as a pledge of
her ability; she was appointed to execute a portion of the decorations.
She made a bas-relief, the subject being "Joseph and Potiphar's Wife,"
which Vasari called "a lovely picture, sculptured with womanly grace, and
more than admirable."
By this time the jealousy of other artists was aroused, and a story was
diligently repeated to the effect that Properzia loved a young nobleman
who did not care for her, and that the above work, so much admired,
represented her own passion. Albertini and other artists waged an
absolute crusade against her, and so influenced the superintendents of
the church that Properzia was obliged to leave the work and her relief
was never put in place. Through mortification and grief her health
failed, and she died when but forty years old.
In spite of her persecution she was known in all Italy, not only for her
sculpture, but for her copper-plate engraving and etching. When Pope
Clement VII. went to Bologna for the coronation of Charles V. he asked
for Properzia, only to hear that she had been buried that very week.
Her story has been told by Vasari and other writers. She was handsome,
accomplished in music, distinguished for her knowledge of science, and
withal a good and orderly housewife. "Well calculated to awaken the envy,
not of women only, but also of men." Canova ardently admired the work of
Properzia that remained in his day, and esteemed her early death as one
of the chief misfortunes to the advance of the fine arts in Italy.
ROTKY, BARONESS HANNA. Born at Czernowitz in 1857. She studied
portrait painting under Blaas, Swerdts, and Trentino, and has worked
principally in Vienna. Her portrait of Freiherr von Sterneck is in the
Military Academy at Wiener-Neustadt.
RUDDER, MME. DE. This lady has made an art of her embroidery, and
may be said to have revived this decorative specialty and to have
equalled the ancient productions which are so beautiful and valuable.
After her marriage to the well-known sculptor this gifted couple began
their collaboration. M. P. Verneuil, in _Brush and Pencil_, November,
1903, writes: "The first result of this joint work was shown in 1894 at
the Exposition Cercle pour l'Art, in the form of a panel, called 'The
Eagle and the Swan.' It was exhibited afterward at the Secession in
Vienna, where it was purchased by a well-known amateur and connoisseur.
Other works were produced in succession, each more interesting than its
predecessor. Not daunted by difficulties that would have discouraged the
most ambitious and audacious craftswoman, Mme. de Rudder took for a
subject 'The Fates,' to decorate a screen. Aside from the artistic
interest attaching to this work, it is remarkable for another quality.
The artist yielded to the instinctive liking that she had for useful
art--she ornamented a useful article--and in mastering the technical
difficulties of her work she created the new method called
're-embroidery.' For the dresses of her 'Fates' ancient silks were
utilized for a background. Some of the pieces had moth-holes, which
necessitated the addition of 'supplementary ornamental motives,'
'embroidered on cloth to conceal the defects.' The discovery of
're-embroidery' was the result of this enforced expedient.
"This screen, finished in 1896, was exhibited at the Cercle Artistique,
Brussels, where the mayor, M. Buls, saw it. Realizing the possibilities
of the method and the skill of the artist, he gave an order to Mme. de
Rudder to decorate the Marriage Hall of the Hotel de Ville. This order
was delivered in 1896. During this period Mme. de Rudder worked
feverishly. About the same time that the order for the Hotel de Ville was
given, she received from M. Van Yssendyck, architect of the Hotel
Provincial in Ghent, a commission to design and embroider six large
allegorical panels. One of them represented 'Wisdom' in the habiliments
of Minerva, modernized, holding an olive branch. The five others were
'Justice,' holding a thistle, symbolizing law; 'Eloquence,' crowned with
roses and holding a lyre; 'Strength,' bending an oak branch; 'Truth,'
crushing a serpent and bearing a mirror and some lilies; and 'Prudence,'
with the horn of plenty and some holly. These six panels are remarkable
for the beautiful decorative feeling that suffuses their composition. The
tricks of workmanship are varied, and all combine to give a wonderful
effect. Contrary to the form of presenting the 'Fates,' all the figures
Her next important commission was for eight large panels, intended to
decorate the Congo Free State department in the Brussels Exposition.
These panels represent the "Triumph of Civilization over Barbarism," and
are now in the Museum at Tervueren. They are curious in their symbols of
fetichism, and have an attraction that one can scarcely explain. The
above are but a part of her important works, and naturally, when not
absorbed by these, Mme. de Rudder executes some smaller pieces which are
marvels of patience in their exquisite detail.
Perhaps her panels of the "Four Seasons" may be called her
_chef-d'oeuvre_. The writer quoted above also says:
"To Mme. de Rudder must be given the credit for the interpretation of
work demanding large and varied decorative effect, while in the creation
of true artistic composition she easily stands at the head of the limited
coterie of men and women who have mastered this delicate and difficult
art. She is a leader in her peculiar craft."
RUDE, MME. SOPHIE FREMIET. 1797-1867. Medal at Paris Salon, 1833.
Born in Dijon. This artist painted historical and genre subjects as well
as portraits. Her picture of the "Sleeping Virgin," 1831, and that of
the "Arrest of the Duchess of Burgundy in Bruges," 1841, are in the
RUYSCH, RACHEL. The perfection of flower-painting is seen in the
works of Rachel Ruysch. The daughter of a distinguished professor of
anatomy, she was born at Amsterdam in 1664. She was for a time a pupil of
William van Aelst, but soon studied from nature alone. Some art critics
esteem her works superior to those of De Heem and Van Huysum. Let that be
as it may, the pictures with which she was no doubt dissatisfied when
they passed from her hand more than two centuries ago are greatly valued
to-day and her genius is undisputed.
When thirty years old Rachel Ruysch married the portrait painter, Julian
van Pool. She bore him ten children, but in the midst of all her cares
she never laid her brush aside. Her reputation extended to every court of
Europe. She received many honors, and was elected to the Academical
Society at The Hague. She was received with distinguished courtesies on
the two occasions when she visited Duesseldorf.
[Illustration: Alinari, Photo.
In the Pitti Gallery, Florence
FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND INSECTS
The Elector John of Pfalz appointed her painter at his court, and beyond
paying her generously for her pictures, bestowed valuable gifts on her.
The Elector sent several of her works to the Grand Duke of Tuscany and to
other distinguished rulers of that day.
The advance of years in no wise dulled her powers. Her pictures painted
when eighty years old are as delicately finished as those of many years
earlier. She died when eighty-six, "respected by the great, beloved even
by her rivals, praised by all who knew her."
The pictures by Rachel Ruysch are honorably placed in many public
galleries; in those of Florence and Turin, as well as at Amsterdam, The
Hague, Berlin, Dresden, Vienna, and Munich, they are much valued.
Although these pictures are characterized by extreme delicacy of touch,
softness, and lightness, this artist knew how so to combine these
qualities as to impart an effect of strength to her painting. Her
rendering of separate flowers was exquisite, and her roses, either by
themselves or combined with other flowers, are especially beautiful. She
painted fruits in perfection, and the insects and butterflies which she
sometimes added are admirably executed.
The chief criticism that can be made of her pictures is that she was less
skilful in the grouping of her flowers than in their painting. Many of
her works are in private galleries, especially in Holland. They are
rarely sold; in London, about thirty years ago, a small "Bouquet of
Flowers with Insects" was sold for more than two thousand dollars, and is
now of double that value.
Her pictures have the same clearness and individuality that are seen in
her portrait, in which she has short hair, a simple low-cut dress, with a
necklace of beads about the throat.
SALLES, ADELHEID. Born in Dresden, 1825; died in Paris, 1890. Pupil
of Bernhard and Jacquand, she established her studio in Paris. Many of
her works are in museums: "Elijah in the Desert," at Lyons; "The Legend
of the Alyscamps," at Nimes; "The Village Maiden," at Grenoble; "Field
Flowers," at Havre, etc. She also painted portraits and historical
subjects, among which are "Psyche in Olympus," "The Daughters of
Jerusalem in the Babylonian Captivity," and the "Daughter of Jairus."
She was a sister of E. Puyroche-Wagner.
SARTAIN, EMILY. Medal at Philadelphia Exhibition, 1876; Mary Smith
prize at the Pennsylvania Academy for best painting by a woman, in 1881
and 1883. Born in Philadelphia, 1841. Miss Sartain has been the principal
of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women since 1886.
She studied engraving under her father, John Sartain, and with Luminais
in Paris. She engraved and etched book illustrations and numerous larger
prints. She is also a painter of portraits and genre pictures, and has
exhibited at the Salon des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Miss Sartain has been
appointed as delegate from the United States to the International
Congress on Instruction in Drawing to be held at Berne next August. Her
appointment was recommended by the Secretary of the Interior, the United
States Commissioner of Education, and Prof. J. H. Gore. Miss Sartain has
also received letters from Switzerland from M. Leon Genoud, president of
the Swiss Commission, begging her to accept the appointment.
SCHAEFER, MARIA. First-class medal, Bene-merenti, Roumania. Born in
Dresden, 1854. Her first studies were made in Darmstadt under A. Noack;
later she was a pupil of Budde and Bauer in Duesseldorf, and finally of
Eisenmenger in Vienna. After travelling in Italy in 1879, she settled in
Darmstadt. She made several beautiful copies of Holbein's "Madonna," one
for the King of Roumania, and one as a gift from the city of Darmstadt
to the Czarina Alexandra. Among her most excellent portraits are those of
Friedrich von Schmidt and his son Henry. Several of her religious
paintings ornament German churches: "St. Elizabeth" is at Biedenkopf,
"Mary's Departure from the Tomb of Christ" is at Nierstein, and "Christ
with St. Louis and St. Elizabeth" and a Rosary picture are in the
Catholic church at Darmstadt.
SCHEFFER, CAROLINE. The daughter of Ary Lamme and wife of J. B.
Scheffer was an artist in the last decades of the eighteenth century, but
the special interest connected with her is the fact that she was the
mother of Ary and Henry Scheffer. From her artistic standpoint she had an
appreciation of what was needed for the benefit of her sons. She took
them to Paris to study, devoted herself entirely to their welfare, and
died in Paris in 1839.
SCHLEH, ANNA. Born in Berlin, 1833. Her principal studies were made
in her native city under Schrader, although she went to Rome in 1868, and
finally took up her residence there. She had, previous to her work in
Rome, painted "The Marys at the Grave." Her later pictures include "The
Citron-Vender" and a number of portraits for the Henkel family of
SCHMITT-SCHENKH, MARIA. Born in Baden, 1837. She studied her art in
Munich, Carlsruhe, and Italy. She established herself in Munich and
painted pictures for churches, which are in Kirrlach, Mauer,
Ziegelhausen, and other German towns. She also designed church windows,
especially for the Liebfrauenkirche at Carlsruhe.
SCHUMANN, ANNA MARIA. Was called by the Dutch poets their Sappho
and their Corneille. She was born in 1607, but as her family were
Protestants and frequently changed their residence in order to avoid
persecution, the place of her birth is unknown. When Anna Maria was eight
years old, they went permanently to Utrecht.
This distinguished woman was one of the exceptions said to prove rules,
for though a prodigy in childhood she did not become a commonplace or
stupid woman. Learning was her passion and art her recreation. It is
difficult to repeat what is recorded of her unusual attainments and not
feel as if one were being misled by a Munchausen! But it would be
ungracious to lessen a fame almost three centuries old.
We are told that Anna Maria could speak in Latin when seven years old,
and translated from Seneca at ten. She acquired the Hebrew, Greek,
Samaritan, Arabic, Chaldaic, Syriac, Ethiopian, Turkish, and Persian
languages with such thoroughness that her admirers claim that she wrote
and spoke them all. She also read with ease and spoke with finished
elegance Italian, Spanish, English, and French, besides German and her
Anna Maria Schurmann wrote verses in various languages, but the chief end
which her exhaustive studies served was to aid her in theological
research; in this she found her greatest satisfaction and deepest
interest. She was respectfully consulted upon important questions by the
scholars of different countries.
At the University of Utrecht an honorable place was reserved for her in
the lecture-rooms, and she frequently took part in the learned
discussions there. The professors of the University of Leyden paid her
the compliment of erecting a tribune where she could hear all that passed
in the lecture-room without being seen by the audience.
As an artist the Schurmann reached such excellence that the painter
Honthorst valued a portrait by her at a thousand Dutch florins--about
four hundred and thirty dollars--an enormous sum when we remember that
the works of her contemporary, Albert Cuyp, were sold for thirty florins!
and no higher price was paid for his works before the middle of the
eighteenth century. A few years ago his picture, called "Morning Light,"
was sold at a public sale in London for twenty-five thousand dollars. How
astonishing that a celebrated artist like Honthorst, who painted in
Utrecht when Cuyp painted in Dort, should have valued a portrait by Anna
Maria Schurmann at the price of thirty-three works by Cuyp! Such facts as
these suggest a question regarding the relative value of the works of
more modern artists. Will the judgments of the present be thus reversed
in the future?
This extraordinary woman filled the measure of possibilities by carving
in wood and ivory, engraving on crystal and copper, and having a fine
musical talent, playing on several instruments. When it is added that she
was of a lovable nature and attractive in manner, one is not surprised
that her contemporaries called her "the wonder of creation."
Volsius was her friend and taught her Hebrew. She was intimately
associated with such scholars as Salmatius and Heinsius, and was in
correspondence with scholars, philosophers, and theologians regarding
important questions of her time.
Anna Maria Schurmann was singularly free from egotism. She rarely
consented to publish her writings, though often urged to do so. She
avoided publicity and refused complimentary attentions which were urged
upon her, conducting herself with a modesty as rare as her endowments.
In 1664, when travelling with her brother, she became acquainted with
Labadie, the celebrated French enthusiast who preached new doctrines. He
had many disciples called Labadists. He taught that God used deceit with
man when He judged it well for man to be deceived; that contemplation led
to perfection; that self-mortification, self-denial, and prayer were
necessary to a godly life; and that the Holy Spirit constantly made new
revelations to the human beings prepared to receive them.
Anna Maria Schurmann heard these doctrines when prostrated by a double
sorrow, the deaths of her father and brother. She put aside all other
interests and devoted herself to those of the Labadists. It is said that
after the death of Labadie she gathered his disciples together and
conducted them to Vivert, in Friesland. William Penn saw her there, and
in his account of the meeting he tells how much he was impressed by her
grave solemnity and vigorous intellect.
From this time she devoted her fortune to charity and died in poverty at
the age of seventy-one. Besides her fame as an artist and a scholar, her
name was renowned for purity of heart and fervent religious feeling. Her
virtues were many and her few faults were such as could not belong to an
SCUDDER, JANET. Medal at Columbian Exposition, 1893. Two of her
medallion portraits are in the Luxembourg, Paris. Member of the National
Sculpture Society, New York. Born in Terre Haute, Indiana. Pupil of
Rebisso in Cincinnati, of Lorado Taft in Chicago, and of Frederic
MacMonnies in Paris.
At the Chicago Exposition Miss Scudder exhibited two heroic-sized statues
representing Illinois and Indiana. The portraits purchased by the French
Government are of American women and are the first work of an American
woman sculptor to be admitted to the Luxembourg. These medallions are in
bas-relief in marble, framed in bronze. Casts from them have been made in
gold and silver. The first is said to be the largest medallion ever made
in gold; it is about four inches long.
[Illustration: A FROG FOUNTAIN
To the Pan-American Exposition Miss Scudder contributed four boys
standing on a snail, which made a part of the "Fountain of Abundance."
She has exhibited in New York and Philadelphia a fountain, representing a
boy dancing hilariously and snapping his fingers at four huge frogs round
his pedestal. The water spurts from the mouths of the frogs and covers
the naked child.
Miss Scudder is commissioned to make a portrait statue of heroic size for
the St. Louis Exposition. She will no doubt exhibit smaller works there.
Portraits are her specialty, and in these she has made a success, as is
proved by the appreciation of her work in Paris.
A memorial figure in marble is in Woodlawn Cemetery, also a cinerary urn
in stone and bronze; a bronze memorial tablet is in Union College. Miss
Scudder also made the seal for the Bar Association of New York.
SEARS, SARAH C. Medal at Chicago, 1893; William Evans prize,
American Water-Color Society, New York; honorable mention, Paris
Exposition, 1900; bronze medal at Buffalo, 1901; silver medal at
Charleston, South Carolina. Member of the New York Water-Color Club,
Boston Art Students' Association, National Arts Club, Boston Water-Color
Club. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pupil of Ross Turner, Joseph de
Camp, Edmund C. Tarbell, and George de Forest Brush. Mrs. Sears has also
studied by herself with the criticism of masters.
She paints portraits, figures, and flowers, and is much interested in the
applied arts. Of her exhibition at the Boston Art Club, 1903, a critic
writes: "Nothing could be more brilliant in point of color than the group
of seven water-color pictures of a sunny flower-garden by Mrs. Sears. In
these works pure and limpid color has been pushed to its extreme
capacity, under full daylight conditions, with a splendor of brightness
which never crosses the line of crudity, but holds the same relative
values as we see in nature, the utmost force of local color courageously
set forth and contrasted without apparent artifice, blending into an
harmonious unity of tone. Two of these pictures are especially fine, with
their cool backgrounds of sombre pines to set off the magnificent masses
of flowers in the foreground."
At the exhibition of the Philadelphia Water-Color Club, 1903, the _Press_
said: "These brilliant and overpowering combinations of color carry to
a limit not before reached the decorative possibilities of flowers."
Mrs. Sears' honors have been awarded to her portraits.
SEIDLER, CAROLINE LUISE. Born in Jena, 1786; died in Weimar, 1866.
Her early studies were made in Gotha with Doell; in 1811 she went to
Dresden, where she became a pupil of G. von Kuegelgen; in 1817 Langer
received her into his Munich studio; and between 1818 and 1823 she was in
Italy, making special studies of Vanucci and Raphael. In 1823 she was
appointed instructor of the royal princesses at Weimar, and in 1824
inspector of the gallery there, and later became court painter. Among her
works are a portrait of Goethe, a picture of "Ulysses and the Sirens,"
and one of "Christ, the Compassionate," which is in the church at
SERRANO Y BARTOLOME, JOAQUINA. Born in Fermoselle. Pupil in Madrid
of Juan Espalter, of the School of Arts and Crafts, and of the School of
Painting. She sent four pictures to the Exposition of 1876 in Madrid: the
portrait of a young woman, a still-life subject, a bunch of grapes, and a
"Peasant Girl"--the last two are in the Museum of Murcia. In 1878 she
sent "A Kitchen Maid on Saturday," a study, a flower piece, and two
still-life pictures; and in 1881 two portraits and some landscapes. Her
portrait of the painter Fortuny, which belongs to the Society of Authors
and Artists, gained her a membership in that Society. Two other excellent
portraits are those of her teacher, Espalter, and General Trillo.
SEWELL, AMANDA BREWSTER. Bronze medal, Chicago, 1893; bronze medal,
Buffalo, 1901; silver medal, Charleston; Clarke prize, Academy of
Design, 1903. Member of the Woman's Art Club and an associate of National
Academy of Design. Born in Northern New York. Pupil at Cooper Union under
Douglas Volk and R. Swain Gifford, and of Art Students' League under
William Chase and William Sartain; also of Julian's Academy under Tony
Robert Fleury and Bouguereau, and of Carolus Duran.
Mrs. Sewell's "A Village Incident" is owned by the Philadelphia Social
Art Club; "Where Roses Bloom" is in the Boston Art Club; portrait of
Professor William R. Ware is in the Library of Columbia University. Her
portrait of Amalia Kuessner will be exhibited and published.
Mrs. Sewell is the first woman to take the Clarke prize. She has been a
careful student in the arrangement of portraits in order to make
attractive pictures as well as satisfactory likenesses. Of the pictures
she exhibited at the Academy of Design, winter of 1903, Charles H. Caffin
"The portrait of Mrs. Charles S. Dodge, by Mrs. A. Brewster Sewell, is
the finest example in the exhibition of pictorial treatment, the lady
being wrapped in a brown velvet cloak with broad edges of brown fur, and
seated before a background of dark foliage. It is a most distinguished
canvas, though one may object to the too obvious affectation of the
arrangement of the hands and of the gesture of the head--features which
will jar upon many eyes and detract from the general handsomeness. The
same lady sends a large classical subject, the 'Sacred Hecatomb,' to
which the Clarke prize was awarded. It represents a forest scene lit by
slanting sunlight, through which winds a string of bulls, the foremost
accompanied by a band of youths and maidens with dance and song. The
light effects are managed very skilfully and with convincing truth, and
the figures are free and animated in movement, though the flesh tints are
scarcely agreeable. It is a decorative composition that might be fitly
placed in a large hall in some country house."
SEYDELMANN, APOLLONIE. Member of the Dresden Academy. Born at
Trieste about 1768; died in Dresden, 1840. Pupil of J. C. Seydelmann,
whom she married. Later she went to Italy and there studied miniature
painting under Madame Maron.
She is best known for her excellent copies of old pictures, and
especially by her copy of the Sistine Madonna, from which Mueller's
engraving was made.
SHAW, ANNIE C. The first woman elected Academician in the Academy of
Design, Chicago, 1876. Born at Troy, New York. Pupil of H. C. Ford.
Landscape painter. Among her works are "On the Calumet," "Willow Island,"
"Keene Valley, New York," "Returning from the Fair," 1878, which was
exhibited in Chicago, New York, and Boston. To the Centennial,
Philadelphia, 1876, she sent her "Illinois Prairie."
"Returning from the Fair" shows a group of Alderney cattle in a road
curving through a forest. At the time of its exhibition an art critic
wrote: "The eye of the spectator is struck with the rich mass of foliage,
passing from the light green of the birches in the foreground, where the
light breaks through, to the dark green of the dense forest, shading into
the brownish tints of the early September-tinged leaves. Farther on, the
eye is carried back through a beautiful vista formed by the road leading
through the centre of the picture, giving a fine perspective and distance
through a leafy archway of elms and other forest trees that gracefully
mingle their branches overhead, through which one catches a glimpse of
deep blue sky. As the eye follows this roadway to its distant part the
sun lights up the sky, tingeing with a mellow light the group of small
trees and willows, contrasting beautifully with the almost sombre tones
of the dense forest in the middle distance."
SHRIMPTON, ADA M. Has exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal
Institute of Water-Colors, British Artists, and principal provincial
galleries in England and in Australia; also at the Paris Salon. Member of
Society of Women Artists, London. Born in Old Alresford, Hampshire. Pupil
of John Sparkes at South Kensington, and of Jean Paul Laurens and
Benjamin Constant in Paris.
This artist has painted principally figure subjects, among which are
"Cedric's Daughter," "Thoughts of Youth are Long Thoughts," "Dream of the
Past," "Pippa Passes," "Dorothy's Bridesmaid's Dress," etc., etc.
Recently she has devoted herself to portraits of ladies and children, in
both oil and water-colors.
SIRANI, ELISABETTA. Has been praised as a woman and as an artist by
Lanzi, Malvasia, Picinardi, and other writers until one must believe that
in spite of the exaggeration of her personal qualities and her artistic
genius, she was a singularly admirable woman and a gifted artist.
She was born in Bologna about 1640, and, like Artemisia Gentileschi, was
the daughter of a painter of the school of Guido Reni, whose follower
Elisabetta also became. From the study of her master she seems to have
acquired the power to perceive and reproduce the greatest possible beauty
with which her subjects could be invested.
She worked with such rapidity that she was accused of profiting by her
father's assistance, and in order to refute this accusation it was
arranged that the Duchess of Brunswick, the Duchess of Mirandola, Duke
Cosimo, and others should meet in her studio, on which occasion
Elisabetta charmed and astonished her guests by the ease and perfection
with which she sketched in and shaded drawings of the subjects which one
person after another suggested to her.
Her large picture of the "Baptism of Christ" was completed when the
artist was but twenty years old. Malvasia gives a list of one hundred and
twenty pictures executed by Elisabetta, and yet she was but twenty-five
when her mysterious death occurred.
In the Pinacoteca of Bologna is the "St. Anthony Adoring the Virgin and
Infant Jesus," by the Sirani, which is much admired; several other works
of hers are in her native city. "The Death of Abel" is in the Gallery of
Turin; the "Charity," in the Sciarra Palace in Rome; "Cupids" and a
picture of "Martha and Mary," in the Vienna Gallery; an "Infant Jesus"
and a picture called "A Subject after Guido" are in the Hermitage at
Her composition was graceful and refined, her drawing good, her color
fresh and sweet, with a resemblance to Guido Reni in the half tones. She
was especially happy in the heads of the Madonna and the Magdalene,
imparting to them an expression of exalted tenderness.
Her paintings on copper and her etchings were most attractive; indeed,
all her works revealed the innate grace and refinement of her nature.
Aside from her art the Sirani was a most interesting woman. She was very
beautiful in person, and the sweetness of her temper made her a favorite
with her friends, while her charming voice and fine musical talent added
to her many attractions. Her admirers have also commended her taste in
dress, which was very simple, and have even praised her moderation in
eating! She was skilled in domestic matters and accustomed to rise at
dawn to attend to her household affairs, not permitting her art to
interfere with the more homely duties of her life. One writer says that
"her devoted filial affection, her feminine grace, and the artless
benignity of her manners rounded out a character regarded as an ideal of
perfection by her friends."
It may be that her tragic fate caused an exaggerated estimate to be made
of her both as a woman and an artist. The actual cause of her death is
unknown. There have been many theories concerning it. It was very
generally believed that she was poisoned, although neither the reason for
the crime nor the name of its perpetrator was known.
By some she was believed to have been sacrificed to the same professional
jealousy that destroyed Domenichino; others accepted the theory that a
princely lover who had made unworthy proposals to her, which she had
scorned, had revenged himself by her murder. At length a servant, Lucia
Tolomelli, who had been a long time in the Sirani family, was suspected
of having poisoned her young mistress, was arrested, tried, and banished.
But after a time the father of Elisabetta, finding no convincing reason
to believe her guilty, obtained her pardon.
Whatever may have been the cause of the artist's death, the effect upon
her native city was overwhelming and the day of her burial was one of
general mourning, the ceremony being attended with great pomp. She was
buried beside Guido Reni, in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary, in the
magnificent Church of the Dominicans.
Poets and orators vied with each other in sounding her praises, and a
book called "Il Penello Lagrimato," published at Bologna soon after her
death, is a collection of orations, sonnets, odes, epitaphs, and
anagrams, in Latin and Italian, setting forth the love which her native
city bore to this beautiful woman, and rehearsing again and again her
charms and her virtues.
In the Ercolani Gallery there is a picture of Elisabetta painting a
portrait of her father. It is said that she also painted a portrait of
herself looking up with a spiritual expression, which is in a private
collection and seen by few people.
SMITH, JESSIE WILLCOX. Mary Smith prize, Pennsylvania Academy of
Fine Arts, 1903. Member of the Plastic Club and a fellow of the Academy,
Philadelphia. Born in Philadelphia, where she was a pupil of the Academy;
also studied under Thomas Eakins, Thomas P. Anschutz, and Howard Pyle.
Miss Smith is essentially an illustrator and her work is seen in all the
leading American magazines. "The Child's Calendar" is the work of this
SONREL, MLLE. E. Honorable mention, Paris, 1893; third-class medal,
1895; bronze medal, Paris Exposition, 1900. At the Salon des Artistes
Francais, 1902, she exhibited "Sybille" and "Monica"; in 1903, "The Dance
of Terpsichore" and "Princesse Lointaine."
[_No reply to circular_.]
SPANO, MARIA. Silver medal, Naples, 1859, for a picture of a
"Contadina of Sorrento." Born in Naples, 1843. Pupil of her father,
Raffaele Spano, under whose direction she made a thorough study of figure
painting, the results of which are evident in her excellent portraits and
historical subjects. She has also been greatly interested in landscape
painting, in which she has been successful. "A Confidence" was bought by
the Gallery at Capodimonte, and two of her pictures were acquired by the
Provincial Council of Naples--a "Contadina," life size, and a "Country
Farmyard." One of her best pictures is "Bice at the Castle of Rosate."
SPILIMBERG, IRENE DI. Born in Udina, 1540. Her family was of German
origin and exalted position. She was educated in Venice with great care
and all the advantages that wealth could command. She was much in the
society of learned men, which she preferred before that of the world of
Titian was her roaster in painting. Lanzi and Rudolfi praised her as an
artist, and her fame now rests on the testimony of those who saw her
works rather than on the pictures themselves, some of which are said to
be in private collections in Italy. Titian painted her portrait as a
tribute to her beauty; Tasso celebrated her intellectual charm in a
sonnet, and yet she was but nineteen years old when she died.
Twenty years later a collection of orations and poems was published, all
of which set forth her attractions and acquirements, and emphasized the
sadness of her early death and the loss that the world had suffered
thereby. When one remembers how soon after death those who have done a
life work are forgotten, such a memorial to one so young is worthy of
SPURR, GERTRUDE E. Associate member of Royal Canadian Academy and
member of the Ontario Society of Arts. Born in Scarborough, England.
Pupil of the Lambeth Art School in drawing, of E. H. Holder in painting,
in England; also of George B. Bridgman in New York. This artist usually
paints small pictures of rural scenery in England and Wales--little stone
cottages, bridges, river and mountain scenes. "Castle Rock, North Devon,"
was exhibited at Buffalo, and is owned by Herbert Mason, Esq., of
Toronto. "A Peep at Snowdon" and "Dutch Farm Door, Ontario," are in
Montreal collections. Her works have been exhibited in London at the
Royal Society of British Artists and the Society of Lady Artists, and
have been sold from these exhibitions.
I quote from the _Queen_, in reference to one of Miss Spurr's London
exhibitions: "We know of no more favorite sketching-ground in N. Wales
for the artist than Bettws-y-coed. Every yard of that most picturesque
district has been painted and sketched over and over again. The artist in
this instance reproduces some of the very primitive cottages in which the
natives of the principality sojourn. The play of light on the modest
dwelling-places is an effective element in the cleverly rendered drawing
now in the Society of Artists' Exhibition. Miss Spurr, the daughter of a
Scarboro lawyer, commenced her art studies with Mr. E. H. Holder, in the
winter painting dead birds, fruit, and other natural objects, and in
summer spending her time on the coast or in the woods or about Rievaulx
Abbey. Any remaining time to be filled up was occupied by attending the
Scarboro School of Art under the instruction of Mr. Strange. In a local
sketching club Miss Spurr distinguished herself and gained several
prizes, and she has at length taken up her abode in the metropolis, where
she has attended the Lambeth Schools, studying diligently both from casts
STACEY, ANNA L. Honorable mention at Exhibition of Chicago Artists,
1900; Young Fortnightly Club prize, 1902; Martin B. Cahn prize,
Exhibition at Art Institute, Chicago, 1902. Member of Chicago Society of
Artists. Born in Glasgow, Missouri.
Pupil of Art Institute in Chicago. Paints portraits, figure subjects, and
landscapes. The Cahn prize was awarded to the "Village at Twilight."
"Florence" is owned by the Klio Club; "Trophies of the Fields," by the
Union League Club, Chicago.
Recently Miss Stacey has painted a number of successful portraits.
STADING, EVELINA. Born in Stockholm. 1803-1829. She was a pupil of
Fahlcrantz for a time in her native city, and then went to Dresden, where
she made a thorough study and some excellent copies of the works of
Ruisdael. In 1827 she went to Rome, making studies in Volzburg and the
Tyrol _en route_. She painted views in Switzerland and Italy, and two of
her landscapes are in the gallery in Christiania.
STANLEY, LADY DOROTHY. Member of the Ladies' Athenaeum Club. Born in
London. Pupil of Sir Edward Poynter--then Mr. Poynter--and of M. Legros,
at Slade School, University College, London; also of Carolus Duran and
Henner in Paris.
Lady Stanley has exhibited at the Royal Academy, the new Gallery, at the
English provincial exhibitions, and at the Salon, Paris.
Her picture, "His First Offence," is in the Tate National Gallery; "Leap
Frog," in the National Gallery of Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Other pictures
of hers are "A Water Nymph," "The Bathers," etc., which are in private
galleries. "Leap Frog" was in the Academy exhibition, 1903.
STEBBINS, EMMA. 1815-1882. Born in New York. As an amateur artist
Miss Stebbins made a mark by her work in black and white and her pictures
in oils. After a time she decided to devote herself to sculpture. In
Rome she studied this art and made her first success with a statuette of
"Joseph." This was followed by "Columbus" and "Satan Descending to tempt
Mankind." For Central Park, New York, she executed a large fountain, the
subject being "The Angel of the Waters."
STEPHENS, MRS. ALICE BARBER. Mary Smith prize, 1890. Pupil of the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and of the Julian Academy, Paris. An
illustrator whose favorite subjects are those of every-day home life--the
baby, the little child, the grandmother in cap and spectacles, etc.
[_No reply to circular_.]
STEVENS, EDITH BARRETTO. Two scholarships and a prize of one hundred
dollars from the Art Students' League, of which she is a member. Born in
Houston, Virginia, in 1878. Studied at Art Students' League and under
Daniel C. French and George Gray Barnard.
Miss Stevens mentions as her principal works "A Candlestick Representing
a Girl Asleep under a Poppy," "Figure of Spring," and the "Spirit of
Miss Stevens is one of the women sculptors who have been selected to
share in the decoration of the buildings for the St. Louis Exposition.
She is to make two reclining figures on the pediment over the main
entrance to the Liberal Arts Building. She has in her studio two
reclining figures which will probably serve to fulfil this commission.
Miss Stevens is modest about her work and does not care to talk much
about this important commission, even suggesting that her design may not
be accepted; if she is successful it will certainly be an unusual honor
for a woman at her age, whose artistic career covers less than five
STEVENS, MARY. Bronze medal at the Crystal Palace. Member of the
Dudley Gallery, London. Born at Liverpool. Pupil of William Kerry and of
her husband, Albert Stevens, in England, and of the Julian Academy,
Mrs. Stevens' pictures were well considered when she exhibited a variety
of subjects; of late, however, she has made a specialty of pictures of
gardens, and has painted in many famous English and French gardens, among
others, those of Holland House, Warwick Castle, and St. Anne's, Dublin.
In France, the gardens of the Duchesse de Dino and the Countess Foucher
Mrs. Stevens--several of whose works are owned in America--has
commissions to paint in some American gardens and intends to execute them
STILLMAN, MARIE SPARTALI. Pupil of Ford Madox Brown. This artist
first exhibited in public at the Dudley Gallery, London, in 1867, a
picture called "Lady Pray's Desire." In 1870 she exhibited at the Royal
Academy, "Saint Barbara" and "The Mystic Tryst." In 1873 she exhibited
"The Finding of Sir Lancelot Disguised as a Fool" and "Sir Tristram and
La Belle Isolde," both in water-colors. Of these, a writer in the _Art
Journal_ said: "Mrs. Stillman has brought imagination to her work. These
vistas of garden landscape are conceived in the true spirit of romantic
luxuriance, when the beauty of each separate flower was a delight. The
figures, too, have a grace that belongs properly to art, and which has
been well fitted to pictorial expression. The least satisfactory part of
these clever drawings is their color. There is an evident feeling of
harmony, but the effect is confused and the prevailing tones are
W. M. Rossetti wrote: "Miss Spartali has a fine power of fusing the
emotion of her subject into its color and of giving aspiration to both;
beyond what is actually achieved one sees a reaching toward something
ulterior. As one pauses before her work, a film in that or in the mind
lifts or seems meant to lift, and a subtler essence from within the
picture quickens the sense. In short, Miss Spartali, having a keen
perception of the poetry which resides in beauty and in the means of art
for embodying beauty, succeeds in infusing that perception into the
spectator of her handiwork."
[_No reply to circular_.]
STOCKS, MINNA. Born in Scheverin, 1846. Pupil of Schloepke in
Scheverin, Stiffeck in Berlin, E. Bosch in Duesseldorf, and J. Bauck in
Munich. Her "Lake of Scheverin" is in the Museum of her native city.
Her artistic reputation rests largely on her pictures of animals. She
exhibits at the Expositions of the Society of Women Artists, Berlin, and
among her pictures seen there is "A Journey through Africa," which
represents kittens playing with a map of that country. It was attractive
and was praised for its artistic merit. In fact, her puppies and kittens
are most excellent results--have been called masterpieces--of the most
intimate and intelligent study of nature.
Among her works are "A Quartet of Cats," "The Hostile Brothers," and "The
STOKES, MARIANNA. Honorable mention at Paris Salon, 1884; gold medal
in Munich, 1890; medal at Chicago in 1893. Member of the Society of
Painters in Tempera. Born in Graz-Styria. Pupil of Professor W. von
Lindenschmit in Munich, of M. Dagnan Bouveret and M. Courtois in Paris.
Her picture, "A Parting," is in the Liverpool Gallery; "Childhood's
Wonder," in the Nottingham Gallery; "Aucassin and Nicolette," in the
Pittsburg Gallery, etc.
Mrs. Stokes writes me that she has taken great interest in the revival of
tempera painting in recent years. In reviewing the exhibition in the New
Gallery, London, the _Spectator_ of May 2, 1903, speaks of the portraits
by Mrs. Stokes as charming, and adds: "They are influenced by the
primitive painters, but in the right way. That is, the painter has used a
formal and unrealistic style, but without any sacrifice of artistic
freedom." Of a portrait of a child the same writer says: "It would be
difficult to imagine a happier portrait of a little child,... and in it
may be seen how the artist has used her freedom; for although she has
preserved a primitive simplicity, the sky, sea, and windmill have modern
qualities of atmosphere. The picture is very subtle in drawing and color,
and the sympathy for child-life is perfect, seen as it is both in the
hands and in the eyes.
"Another portrait by the same artist is hung on a marble pillar at the
top of the stairs leading up to the balcony. The admirable qualities of
decoration are well shown by the way it is hung.... Is a fine piece of
strong and satisfactory color, but the decorative aspect in no way takes
precedence of the portraiture. We think of the man first and the picture
At the Academy, in 1903, Mrs. Stokes exhibited a portrait of J. Westlake,
STORER, MRS. MARIA LONGWORTH. Gold medal at Paris Exposition, 1900.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pupil of the Cincinnati Art School, which her
father, Joseph Longworth, endowed with three hundred thousand dollars.
After working four years, making experiments in clay decoration at the
Dallas White Ware Pottery, Mrs. Storer, "who had the enthusiasm of the
artistic temperament coupled with fixity of purpose and financial
resources,... had the courage to open a Pottery which she called
Rookwood, the name of her father's place on the hills beyond. This was in
Nine years later this pottery had become self-supporting, and Mrs. Storer
then dissolved her personal association with it, leaving it in charge of
Mr. William Watts Taylor, who had collaborated with her during six years.
At the Paris Exposition Mrs. Storer exhibited about twenty pieces of
pottery mounted in bronze--all her own work. It was an exquisite
exhibition, and I was proud that it was the work of one of my
In 1897 Mr. Storer was appointed United States minister to Belgium, and
Mrs. Storer took a Japanese artist, Asano, to Brussels, to instruct her
in bronze work. Two years later Mr. Storer's mission was changed to
Spain, and there Mrs. Storer continued, under Asano's guidance, her work
in bronze, some of the results being seen in the mounting of her pottery.
At present Mr. Storer is our Ambassador to Austria, and Mrs. Storer
writes me that she hopes to continue her work in bronze in Vienna.
In the summer of 1903 Mrs. Storer was in Colorado Springs, where she was
much interested in the pottery made by Mr. Van Briggle. She became one of
the directors of the Van Briggle Pottery Company, and encouraged the
undertaking most heartily.
STUMM, MAUD. Born in Cleveland, Ohio. Pupil of Art Students' League
under Kenyon Cox and Siddons Mowbray, and of Oliver Merson in Paris,
where her painting was also criticised and approved by Whistler. Her
earliest work was flower painting, in which she gained an enviable
In Paris she began the study of figure painting, and her exhibition at
the Salon was favorably received, the purity and brilliancy of her
coloring being especially commended.
Several of Miss Stumm's pictures are well known by reproductions. Among
these is the "Mother and Child," the original of which is owned by Mr.
Patterson, of the Chicago _Tribune_. Her calendars, too, are artistic and
popular; some of these have reached a sale of nearly half a million.
A series of studies of Sarah Bernhardt, in pastel, and a portrait of
Julia Marlowe are among her works in this medium. Many of her figure
subjects, such as "A Venetian Matron" and "A Violinist," are portraits,
not studies from professional models.
This artist has painted an unusual variety of subjects, but is ambitious
in still another department of painting--decorative art--in which she
believes she could succeed.
Her works are seen in the exhibitions of the Society of American Artists
and of the American Water-Color Society.
SWOBODA, JOSEPHINE. Born in Vienna, 1861. Pupil of Laufberger and I.
V. Berger. This portrait artist has been successful and numbers among her
subjects the Princess Henry of Prussia, the late Queen of England, whose
portrait she painted at Balmoral in 1893, the Minister Bauhaus, and
several members of the royal house of Austria. The portrait of Queen
Victoria was exhibited at the Water-Color Club, Vienna.
She also paints charming miniatures. Her pictures are in both oil and
water-colors, and are praised by the critics of the exhibitions in which
they are seen.
SWOPE, MRS. KATE. Honorable mention at National Academy of Design,
1888; honorable mention and gold medal, Southern Art League, 1895;
highest award, Louisville Art League, 1897. Member of Louisville Art
League. Born in Louisville, Kentucky. Pupil of Edgar Ward and M. Flagg in
New York, and later of B. R. Fitz.
Mrs. Swope devotes herself almost entirely to sacred subjects. The
pictures that have been awarded medals are Madonnas. She prefers to paint
her pictures out of doors and in the sunlight, which results in her
working in a high key and, as she writes, "in tender, opalescent color."
One of her medal pictures is the "Head of a Madonna," out of doors, in a
hazy, blue shadow, against a background of grapevine foliage. The head is
draped in white; the eyes are cast down upon the beholder. A sun spot
kisses the white draperies on the shoulder. It is a young, girlish face,
but the head is suggestive of great exaltation.
A second picture which received an award was a "Madonna and Child," out
of doors. The figure is half life size. Dressed in white, the Madonna is
stretched at full length upon the grass. Raised on one arm, she gazes
into the face of the infant Christ Child.
Mrs. Swope has had success in pastel, in which, not long since, she
exhibited a "Mother and Child," which was much admired. The mother--in an
arbor--held the child up and reverently kissed the cheek. It was called
"Love," and was exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Mrs. Swope's most ambitious work--five by three feet in size--represents
an allegorical subject and is called "Revelation."
SUES, MLLE. LEA. Three silver medals from the School of Arts,
Geneva; diploma of honor at the National Swiss Exposition, 1896. Member
of l'Athenee, Geneva. Born at Genoa and studied there under Professors
Gillet, Poggy, and Castan.
This artist paints landscapes, Swiss subjects principally. Her pictures
of Mont Blanc and Chamounix are popular and have been readily sold. They
are in private collections in several countries, and when exhibited have
been praised in German and French as well as in Swiss publications.
SYAMOUR, MME. MARGUERITE. Honorable mention, 1887; bronze medal at
Exposition at Lyons. Born at Brery, 1861. Pupil of Mercie. Her principal
works are a plaster statue, "New France," 1886, in the Museum of
Issoudun; a statue of Voltaire; a plaster statue, "Life"; a plaster
group, the "Last Farewells"; a statue of "Diana," in the Museum of
Amiens; a great number of portrait busts, among them those of Jules
Grevy, Flammarion, J. Claretie, etc.
At the Salon, Artistes Francais, 1902, this artist exhibited a "Portrait
of M. G. L.," and in 1904 "A Vision" and "La Dame aux Camelias."
TAYLOR, ELIZABETH V. Sears prize, Boston Art Museum; bronze medal,
Nashville Exposition, 1897. Member of the Copley Society, Boston. Pupil
of E. C. Tarbell and Joseph de Camp in the School of the Museum of Fine
This artist paints portraits in miniature and in life size. Her works are
numerous and have been seen in many exhibitions.
THAULOW, MME. ALEXANDRA. Wife of the great Scandinavian painter.
This lady is an artist in bookbinding and her work is much admired. A
writer, H. F., says, in the _Studio_, December, 1903: "When the
exhibition of bookbinding was held some time ago at the Musee Galliera,
Madame Thaulow's showcase attracted attention by its variety and its
grace. The charm of these bindings lies in the fact that they have none
of the massive heaviness of so many productions of this kind. One should
be able to handle a book with ease, and not be forced to rest content
with beholding it displaying its beauties behind glass or on the library
shelf; and Madame Thaulow understood this perfectly when she executed the
bindings now reproduced here. But these bindings are interesting not only
from the standpoint of their utility and intelligent application; their
ornamentation delights one by its graceful interpretation of Nature,
rendered with a very special sense of decoration; moreover, the coloring
of these mosaics of leather is restrained and fresh, and the hollyhocks
and the hortensias, the bunches of mistletoe and the poppies, which form
some of her favorite _motifs_, go to make up a delicious symphony."
THEVENIN, MARIE ANNE ROSALIE. Medals at the Salons of 1849, 1859,
1861. Born at Lyons. Pupil of Leon Cogniet. Portrait and figure painter.
Among her pictures the following are noticeable: "Flora McIvor and Rose
Bradwardine," 1848; "Portrait of Abbe Jacquet," 1859; "Portrait of a
THOMAS-SOYER, MME. MATHILDE. Honorable mention, 1880; third-class
medal, 1881; bronze medal, Exposition, 1889. Born at Troyes, 1859. Pupil
of Chapu and Cain. The principal works of this sculptor are: "A Russian
Horse"; "Lost Dogs"; "Russian Greyhounds"; "Huntsmen and a Poacher," in
the Museum of Semur; "Combat of Dogs," purchased by the Government; "Cow
and Calf," in the Museum of Nevers; "Stag and Bloodhound," in the Museum
of Troyes, etc.
At the Salon, Artistes Francais, 1902, Mme. Thomas-Soyer exhibited "An
Irish Setter and a Laverock," and in 1903 "Under the White Squall."
THORNYCROFT, MARY. Born 1814; died 1895. Daughter of John Francis,
the sculptor, whose pupil she was. This artist exhibited at the Royal
Academy when very young. Her first important work was a life-size figure
called "The Flower-Girl." In 1840 she married Thomas Thornycroft, and
went to Rome two years later, spending a year in study there. Queen
Victoria, after her return, commissioned her to execute statues of the
royal children as the Four Seasons. These were much admired when
exhibited at the Academy. Later she made portrait statues and busts of
many members of the royal family, which were also seen at the Academy
In his "Essays on Art," Palgrave wrote: "Sculpture has at no time
numbered many successful followers among women. We have, however, in Mrs.
Thornycroft, one such artist who, by some recent advance and by the
degrees of success which she has already reached, promises fairly for the
art. Some of this lady's busts have refinement and feeling."
THURBER, CAROLINE NETTLETON. Born in Oberlin, Ohio. Pupil of Howard
Helmick in Washington, and of Benjamin Constant and Jean Paul Laurens in
In 1898 Mrs. Thurber took a studio in Paris, where her first work was the
portrait of a young violinist, which was exhibited in the Salon of the
following spring. This picture met with immediate favor with the public,
the art critics, and the press. The Duchess of Sutherland, upon seeing
it, sent for the artist and arranged for a portrait of her daughter,
which was painted the following autumn while Mrs. Thurber was a guest at
Dunrobin Castle. This portrait was subsequently exhibited in London and
Mrs. Thurber has painted portraits of many persons of distinction in
Paris, among them one of Mlle. Ollivier, only daughter of Emile Ollivier,
president of the Academie Francaise. Monsieur Ollivier, in a personal
note to the artist, made the following comment upon the portrait of his
daughter: "How much I thank you for the portrait of my daughter; it
lives, so powerfully is it colored, and one is tempted to speak to it."
Mrs. Thurber is an exhibitor in the Salon, Royal Academy, and New
Gallery, London, and other foreign exhibitions, as well as in those of
She now has a studio in the family home at Bristol, Rhode Island, on
Narragansett Bay, where she works during half the year. In winter she
divides her time among the larger cities as her orders demand. While Mrs.
Thurber's name is well known through her special success in the
portraiture of children, she has painted many prominent men and women in
Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and New England.
Among her later portraits are those of Mrs. James Sullivan, one of the
lady commissioners of the St. Louis Exposition; Lieut.-Gen. Nelson A.
Miles; Albert, son of Dr. Shaw, editor of the _Review of Reviews_; Mrs.
A. A. F. Johnston, former Dean of Oberlin College; Augustus S. Miller,
mayor of Providence; Hon. L. F. C. Garvin, governor of Rhode Island; and
Judge Austin Adams, late of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
THURWANGER, FELICITE CHASTANIER. This remarkable artist, not long
since, when eighty-four years old, sent to the exhibition at Nice--which
is, in a sense, a branch of the Paris Salon--three portraits which she
had just finished. "They were hung in the place of honor and unanimously
voted to belong to the first class."
Mme. Thurwanger was the pupil of Delacroix during five years. The master
unconsciously did his pupil an injury by saying to her father: "That
daughter of yours is wonderfully gifted, and if she were a man I would
make a great artist of her." Hearing this, the young artist burst into
tears, and her whole career was clouded by the thought that her sex
prevented her being a really great artist, and induced in her an abnormal
modesty. This occurred about forty-five years ago; since then we have
signally changed all that!
Delacroix, who was an enthusiast in color, was the leader of one school
of his time, and was opposed by Ingres, who was so wanting in this regard
that he was accused of being color-blind.
Mme. Thurwanger had a curious experience with these artists. When but
seventeen she was commissioned by the Government to copy a picture in the
Louvre. One morning, when she was working in the Gallery, Ingres passed
by and stopped to look at her picture. He examined it carefully, and with
an expression of satisfaction said: "I am so very glad to see that you
have the true idea of art! Remember always that there is no color in
Nature; the outline is all; if the outline is good, no matter about the
coloring, the picture will be good."
This story would favor the color-blind theory, as Ingres apparently saw
color neither in the original nor the copy.
An hour later Delacroix came to watch the work of his pupil, and after a
few minutes exclaimed: "I am so happy, my dear girl, to see that you have
the true and only spirit of art. Never forget that in Nature there is no
line, no outline; everything is color!"
In 1852 Mme. Thurwanger was in Philadelphia and remained more than two
years. She exhibited her pictures, which were favorably noticed by the
Philadelphia _Enquirer_. In July of the above year her portraits were
enthusiastically praised. "Not a lineament, not a feature, however
trivial, escapes the all-searching eye of the artist, who has the happy
faculty of causing the expression of the mind and soul to beam forth in
the life-like and speaking face."
In October, 1854, her picture of a "Madonna and Child" was thus noticed
by the same paper: "For brilliancy, animation, maternal solicitude, form,
grace, and feature, it would be difficult to imagine anything more
impressive. It is in every sense a gem of the pictorial art, while the
execution and finish are such as genius alone could inspire."
TIRLINKS, LIEWENA. Born in Bruges, a daughter of Master Simon. This
lady was not only esteemed as an artist in London, but she won the heart
of an English nobleman, to whom she was given in marriage by Henry VIII.
Her miniatures were much admired and greatly in fashion at the court.
Some critics have thought the Tirlinks to be the same person with Liewena
Bennings or Benic, whose story, as we know it, is much the same as the
TORMOCZY, BERTHA VON. Diploma of honor, Budapest and Agram. Born at
Innspruck, 1846. Pupil of Hausch, Her, and Schindler. Among her pictures
are "Girl in the Garden," "Blossoming Meadows," "Autumn Morning," and a
variety of landscapes.
TORO, PETRONELLA. A painter of miniatures on ivory which have
attained distinction. Among those best known are the portraits of the
Prince of Carignano, Duke Amadeo, and the Duchess d'Aosta with the sons
of the Prince of Carignano. She has painted a young woman in an antique
dress and another in a modern costume. Her works are distinguished by
firmness of touch and great intelligence. She has executed some most
TREU, OR TREY, KATHARINA. Born at Bamberg. 1742-1811. A successful
painter of flowers and still-life. Her talent was remarkable when but a
child, and her father, who was her only master, began her lessons when
she was ten years old. When still young she was appointed court painter
at Mannheim, and in 1776 was made a professor in the Academy at
Duesseldorf. Her pictures are in the Galleries of Bamberg and Carlsruhe,
and in the Darmstadt and Stuttgart Museums.
URRUTIA DE URMENETA, ANA GERTRUDIS DE. Member of the Academy of Fine
Arts, Cadiz, 1846. Born in Cadiz. 1812-1850. She began the study of
drawing with Javier, and after her marriage to Juan Jose de Urmeneta,
professor of painting and sculpture and director of the Cadiz Academy,
continued her work under his direction. A "St. Filomena" and
"Resurrection of the Body," exhibited in 1846, are among her best
pictures. Her "St. Jeronimo" is in the new cathedral at Cadiz, and the
Academy has shown respect to her memory by placing her portrait in the
room in which its sessions are held.
VIANI, MARIA. Born at Bologna. 1670-1711. I find no reliable
biographical account of this artist, whose name appears in the catalogue
of the Dresden Gallery as the painter of the "Reclining Venus, lying on a
blue cushion, with a Cupid at her side."
VERELST, MARIAN. Born in 1680. This artist belonged in Antwerp and
was of the celebrated artistic family of her name. She was a pupil of her
father, Hermann, and her uncle, Simon Verelst. She became famous for the
excellent likenesses she made and for the artistic qualities of her small
Like so many other artists, she was distinguished for accomplishments
outside her art. She was a fine musician and a marvel in her aptitude in
acquiring both ancient and modern languages. A very interesting anecdote
is related of her, as follows: When in London, one evening at the theatre
she sat near six German gentlemen, who expressed their admiration of her
in the most flattering terms of their language, and at the same time
observed her so closely as to be extremely rude. The artist, in their own
tongue, remarked that such extravagant praise was the opposite of a
compliment. One of them repeated his words in Latin, when she again
replied in the same language. The strangers then asked her if she would
give them her name. This she did and further told them that she lived
with her uncle, Simon Verelst. In the end she painted the portrait of
each of these men, and the story of their experience proved the reason
for the acquaintance of the artist being sought by people of culture and
position. Walpole speaks in praise of her portraits and also mentions her
unusual attainments in languages.
VIGEE, MARIE LOUISE ELIZABETH. Member of the French Academy. Born in
Paris in 1755. That happy writer and learned critic, M. Charles Blanc,
begins his account of her thus: "All the fairies gathered about the
cradle of Elizabeth Vigee, as for the birth of a little princess in the
kingdom of art. One gave her beauty, another genius; the fairy Gracious
offered her a pencil and a palette. The fairy of marriage, who had not
been summoned, told her, it is true, that she should wed M. Le Brun, the
expert in pictures--but for her consolation the fairy of travellers
promised her that she should bear from court to court, from academy to
academy, from Paris to Petersburg, and from Rome to London, her gayety,
her talent, and her easel--before which all the sovereigns of Europe and
all those whom genius had crowned should place themselves as subjects for
[Illustration: A FRENCH PRINCE
MARIE VIGEE LE BRUN]
It is difficult to write of Madame Le Brun in outline because her life
was so interesting in detail. Though she had many sorrows, there is a
halo of romance and a brilliancy of atmosphere about her which marks her
as a prominent woman of her day, and her autobiography is charming--it
is so alive that one forgets that she is not present, telling her story!
The father of this gifted daughter was an artist of moderate ability and
made portraits in pastel, which Elizabeth, in her "Souvenirs," speaks of
as good and thinks some of them worthy of comparison with those of the
famous Latour. M. Vigee was an agreeable man with much vivacity of
manner. His friends were numerous and he was able to present his daughter
to people whose acquaintance was of value to her. She was but twelve
years old at the time of his death, and he had already so encouraged her
talents as to make her future comparatively easy for her.
Elizabeth passed five years of her childhood in a convent, where she
constantly busied herself in sketching everything that she saw. She tells
of her intense pleasure in the use of her pencil, and says that her
passion for painting was innate and never grew less, but increased in
charm as she grew older. She claimed that it was a source of perpetual
youth, and that she owed to it her acquaintance and friendship with the
most delightful men and women of Europe.
While still a young girl, Mlle. Vigee studied under Briard, Doyen, and
Greuze, but Joseph Vernet advised her to study the works of Italian and
Flemish masters, and, above all, to study Nature for herself--to follow
no school or system. To this advice Mme. Le Brun attributed her success.
When sixteen years old she presented two portraits to the French
Academy, and was thus early brought to public notice.
When twenty-one she married M. Le Brun, of whom she speaks discreetly in
her story of her life, but it was well known that he was of dissipated
habits and did not hesitate to spend all that his wife could earn. When
she left France, thirteen years after her marriage, she had not so much
as twenty francs, although she had earned a million!
She painted portraits of many eminent people, and was esteemed as a
friend by men and women of culture and high position. The friendship
between the artist and Marie Antoinette was a sincere and deep affection
between two women, neither of whom remembered that one of them was a
queen. It was a great advantage to the artist to be thus intimately
associated with her sovereign lady. Even in the great state picture of
the Queen surrounded by her children, at Versailles, one realizes the
tenderness of the painter as she lovingly reproduced her friend.
Marie Antoinette desired that Mme. Le Brun should be elected to the
Academy; Vernet approved it, and an unusual honor was shown her in being
made an Academician before the completion of her reception picture. At
that time it was a great advantage to be a member of the Academy, as no
other artists were permitted to exhibit their works in the Salon of the
Mme. Le Brun had one habit with which she allowed nothing to interfere,
which was taking a rest after her work for the day was done. She called
it her "calm," and to it she attributed a large share of her power of
endurance, although it lost her many pleasures. She could not go out to
dinner or entertain at that hour. The evening was her only time for
social pleasures. But when one reads her "Souvenirs," and realizes how
many notable people she met in her studio and in evening society, it
scarcely seems necessary to regret that she could not dine out!
Mme. Le Brun was at one period thought to be very extravagant, and one of
her entertainments caused endless comments. Her own account of it shows
how greatly the cost was exaggerated. She writes that on one occasion she
invited twelve or fifteen friends to listen to her brother's reading
during her "calm." The poem read was the "Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en
Grece," in which a dinner was described, and even the receipts for making
various sauces were given. The artist was seized with the idea of
improvising a Greek supper.
She summoned her cook and instructed her in what had been read. Among her
guests were several unusually pretty ladies, who attired themselves in
Greek costumes as nearly as the time permitted. Mme. Le Brun retained the
white blouse she wore at her work, adding a veil and a crown of flowers.
Her studio was rich in antique objects, and a dealer whom she knew loaned
her cups, vases, and lamps. All was arranged with the effect an artist
knows how to produce.
As the guests arrived Mme. Le Brun added here and there an element of
Grecian costume until their number was sufficient for an effective
_tableau vivant_. Her daughter and a little friend were dressed as pages
and bore antique vases. A canopy hung over the table, the guests were
posed in picturesque attitudes, and those who arrived later were arrested
at the door of the supper-room with surprise and delight.
It was as if they had been transported to another clime. A Greek song was
chanted to the accompaniment of a lyre, and when the honey, grapes, and
other dishes were served _a la Grecque_, the enchantment was complete.
The poet recited odes from Anacreon and all passed off delightfully.
The fame of this novel supper was spread over Paris, and marvellous tales
were told of its magnificence and its cost. Mme. Le Brun writes: "Some
ladies asked me to repeat this pleasantry. I refused for various reasons,
and several of them were disturbed by my refusal. Soon a report that the
supper had cost me twenty thousand francs was spread abroad. The King
spoke of it as a joke to the Marquis of Cubieres, who fortunately had
been one of the guests and was able to convince His Majesty of the folly
of such a story. Nevertheless, the modest sum of twenty thousand at
Versailles became forty thousand at Rome; at Vienna the Baroness de
Strogonoff told me that I had spent sixty thousand francs for my Greek
supper; you know that at Petersburg the price at length was fixed at
eighty thousand francs, and the truth is that it cost me about fifteen
Early in 1789, when the warnings of the horrors about to take place began
to be heard, Mme. Le Brun went to Italy. In each city that she visited
she was received with great kindness and many honors were shown her. In
Florence she was invited to paint her own portrait, to be hung in that
part of the Uffizi set apart for the portraits of famous painters. Later
she sent the well-known portrait, near that of Angelica Kauffman. It is
interesting to read Goethe's comparison of the two portraits.
Speaking of Angelica's first, he writes: "It has a truer tone in the
coloring, the position is more pleasing, and the whole exhibits more
correct taste and a higher spirit in art. But the work of Le Brun shows
more careful execution, has more vigor in the drawing, and more delicate
touches. It, has, moreover, a clear though somewhat exaggerated coloring.
The Frenchwoman understands the art of adornment--the headdress, the
hair, the folds of lace on the bosom, all are arranged with care and, as
one might say, _con amore_. The piquant, handsome face, with its lively
expression, its parted lips disclosing a row of pearly teeth, presents
itself to the beholder's gaze as if coquettishly challenging his
admiration, while the hand holds the pencil as in the act of drawing.
"The picture of Angelica, with head gently inclined and a soft,
intellectual melancholy pervading the countenance, evinces higher genius,
even if, in point of artistic skill, the preference should be given to
Mme. Le Brun found Rome delightful and declared that if she could forget
France she should be the happiest of women. She writes of her fellow
artist: "I have been to see Angelica Kauffman, whom I greatly desired to
know. I found her very interesting, apart from her fine talent, on
account of her mind and her general culture.... She has talked much with
me during the two evenings I have passed at her house. Her manner is
gentle; she is prodigiously learned, but has no enthusiasm, which,
considering my ignorance, has not electrified me.... I have seen several
of her works; her sketches please me more than her pictures, because they
are of a Titianesque color."
Mme. Le Brun received more commissions for portraits than she could find
time to paint in the three years she lived in Italy. She tells us: "Not
only did I find great pleasure in painting surrounded by so many
masterpieces, but it was also necessary for me to make another fortune. I
had not a hundred francs of income. Happily I had only to choose among
the grandest people the portraits which it pleased me to paint." Her
account of her experiences in Italy is very entertaining, but at last the
restlessness of the exile overcame her and impelled her to seek other
scenes. She went to Vienna and there remained three other years, making
many friends and painting industriously until the spirit of unrest drove
her to seek new diversions, and she went to Russia.
She was there received with great cordiality and remained six
years--years crowded with kindness, labor, honor, attainment, joy, and
sorrow. Her daughter was the one all-absorbing passion--at once the joy
and the grief of her life. She was so charming and so gifted as to
satisfy the critical requirements of her mother's desires. In Petersburg,
where the daughter was greatly admired and caressed, the artist found
herself a thousand times more happy than she had ever been in her own
Mme. Le Brun was so constantly occupied and the need of earning was so
great with her, that she was forced to confide her daughter to the care
of others when she made her debut in society. Thus it happened that the
young girl met M. Nigris, whom she afterward married. Personally he was
not agreeable to Mme. Le Brun and his position was not satisfactory to
her. We can imagine her chagrin in accepting a son-in-law who even asked
her for money with which to go to church on his wedding-day! The whole
affair was most distasteful, and the marriage occurred at the time of the
death of Mme. Le Brun's mother. She speaks of it as a "time devoted to
Her health suffered so much from this sadness that she tried the benefit
Back to Full Books