Musée No:379.012

Musée No:379.012

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Portrait of My Daughter - Frank Weston Benson

Artist / Engraver: Henry Wolf
Date:1913

Henry Wolf (1852–1916) was a French-born wood engraver who lived and worked in the United States during his most influential work period and until his death. He lived in Strasbourg and studied under Jacques Levy and exhibited in Paris. He moved to New York City in 1871. He was a gifted engraver and created wood engravings of the works of a wide array of artists: Frank Weston Benson, Cecilia Beaux, Howard Pyle, John Singer Sargent, Jan Vermeer, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Aimé Morot and Édouard Manet to name but a few. In the days before digital colour printing, engravings in magazines like Scribner's Magazine, Harper's Monthly, and Century Magazine, were the only way to show and promote the works of the artists. In 1896 he started engraving his own artwork. He exhibited over a hundred wood engravings at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. He was awarded the Exposition's Grand Prize in printmaking that year.

This is his engraving of Frank Weston Benson's, (1862 –1951), "My Daughter", though whether it is Eleanor (1890), Elisabeth (1892) or Sylvia (1898), I can’t be sure. Benson was an American artist from Massachusetts known for his Realistic portraits, American Impressionist paintings, watercolours and etchings. He began his career painting portraits of distinguished families and murals for the Library of Congress. Some of his best known paintings show his daughters outdoors at their summer home. In 1883 he travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. He enjoyed a distinguished career as an instructor and department head at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He was a founding member of the Ten American Painters , with amongst others John Henry Twachtman and Thomas Willmer Dewing, also included in our collection, American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Guild of Boston Artists. He was "deeply influenced" by Johannes Vermeer and Diego Velázquez, masters from the seventeenth-century.

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