Musée No:325.186

Musée No:325.186

Regular price £25.00
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Nude In Red Drape

Artist: Kenyon Cox
Date:1911

(1856 –1919) He was an American painter, illustrator, muralist, writer, art critic and teacher. In 1877 Cox moved to Paris like so many of his contemporaries to be a part of what he believed to be a sort of second renaissance in art. There he studied under Carolus-Duran at the École des Beaux-Arts. Cox wrote of Paris that there was "so much artistic material here that one might almost be content to stay here and paint for years…” After his return from Paris, in 1882, he became an influential and important teacher at the Art Students League of New York. Well known as a muralist during the boom years from 1897 to the 1920s, he provided works for the Library of Congress and several public buildings in New York City. Throughout his career, he emphasized the values of craftsmanship and of attachments to ongoing traditional ideals that emphasized harmony, order, and unity of artist and public. He became famous, or notorious, and an outspoken opponent of the trend toward modernism, which he believed glorified individual expression at the expense of communicating with an audience.

Kenyon Cox painted in the realistic manner and earned a reputation for landscapes, portraits and genre studies. His idealized nudes and traditional treatment of classical themes had little in common with the popular avant-garde art of the day. In 1891 a group of women protested against several of his nude paintings displayed at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual show. Cox advocated the nude as an artistic subject but was often criticized because his nudes looked “too familiar”. For example, in this portrait the woman gazes into a nineteenth-century silver mirror, wears a fashionable pompadour hairstyle, and sits in a turn-of-the-century domestic interior with contemporary wallpaper. All very ‘now’, then. Cox based his treatment of the subject on classical and Renaissance models, but wanted his nudes to have “real flesh and bodily appearance” so they would appeal to modern tastes. Cox continued to paint, teach and write until his death on March 17, 1919.

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