A Breton Girl, c.1890

by Charles Sprague Pearce

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 15.5 x 14.0 in./39.4 x 35.6 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 5347 Categories: ,

Description

This work shows Pearce using a pointillist technique likely under the influence of his contemporary at the Salon, Henri Martin. Martin had began to experiment with pointillism around 1888 – 1889 and greatly influenced Pearce’s work from that time. This work is exceptionally rare and one of only a few known examples by the painter executed in this style.

Provenance

Provenance

Maxwell Galleries – San Francisco c. 1970;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Biography

Biography

Charles Sprague Pearce studied at the Brimmer School and the Boston Latin School, then in 1873 went to Paris and studied under Léon Bonnat. In the winter of 1873 Pearce travelled to Egypt and in 1874-1875 to Algiers. He settled on a farm in Auvers-sur-Oise in France, and was a leading American expatriate artist in Paris, along with artists such as J.S. Sargent. Pearce often painted genre subjects and historical narratives, sometimes of biblical subjects, such as his oil Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt (1877), and Decapitation of John the Baptist. He also painted scenes from rural life in northern France, as in Water Carrier, and Oriental scenes, such as Woman with Fan, which shows a European women in a kimono with a Japanese fan.

 

Pearce was made Chevalier of the Order of King Leopold, Belgium (1886); and a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur, France (1894). He served on the jury of the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1889, chaired the Paris advisory committee for the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and chaired the Paris committee for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St Louis in 1904. He organised the first large-scale exhibition of American art in Belgium for the 1894 Antwerp World Fair.

 

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