American Art of the Week

American Art of the Week: Etretat by Henry A. Bacon

Etretat by Henry A. Bacon, 1890. Photo via Wikimedia Commons [Public domain].

Right now, the weather is pretty crummy where I live, so I definitely picked this painting for reasons of escapism. I also thought it was a watercolor until I read the description. I’m always amazed by oil paintings that manage to convey something of watercolor’s characteristic lightness. Henry A. Bacon (1839-1912) was an American painter who is not to be confused with the American architect of the same name and general time period. Bacon traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa, painting much of what he saw. Both his style and subject matter remind me of then-popular French and English artists of his time. He painted a lot of highly-realistic images of very well-dressed women, which were common subjects of academic art around the turn of the century. Such works aren’t thought as highly of today, but I think they’re still worth looking at.

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