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John White Alexander: An American Artist in the Gilded Age

John White Alexander: An American Artist in the Gilded Age
Mary Anne Goley

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At the time of his death, the Pittsburgh-born John White Alexander (1856-1915) was an internationally recognized portrait painter, on a part with his contemporaries John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase. However the works that have earned him even greater acclaim than his portraits are his figure paintings of femmes fatales, usually richly attired in flowing dresses and striking elaborate poses. Alexander had been much in demand as a portraitist, both of men and children as well as women, but his real talent, which became evident relatively late in his career, lay in his ability to capture the essence of the female form. This talent blossomed after he encountered Juliette Very, the Parisian model who became his muse. Inspired by Juliette, his paintings are imbued with sentiment expressed through movement and gesture, and it was the portrayal of his models in this way that brought him fame. He also borrowed from the post-impressionist group of painters, the Nabis' use of bold abstract forms and flowing lines, and from James McNeil Whistler's muted coloration, to create his own unique style.

Author Info

Mary Anne Goley was the founding Director of the Fine Arts Program of the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C. (1975 through 2006). She has organized several exhibitions of John White Alexander's work and is the acknowledged expert on him. Richard Ormond, C.B.E., is a former Director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK, and co-author of the John Singer Sargent catalogue raisonnee

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd
Publisher: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd

ISBN: 9781781300602
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2017
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 280
Width: 230
Illustrations: 90 colour and black and white illustrations

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