Musée No:379.046Regular price £25.00
Artist: Abbott Henderson Thayer
Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849 – 1921) was an American artist, naturalist and teacher. Born in Boston he was bird-crazy and grew up to paint stunning pictures of angels, some of which use his children as models — and also to promote the military use of camouflage. He dedicated his career to painting pictures of ‘the highest human soul beauty.’ He belonged to a small group of American painters who returned from Paris art schools in the late 19th century. They were painters of atmosphere and depicted beautiful young women as ‘timeless beauty.’ Abbott Handerson Thayer’s reputation grew during the 1880s and he was considered one of the finest painters of the human figure. He had more commissions than he could handle — including portraits of Mark Twain and Henry James. He had strong opinions and odd habits. With his family he slept outdoors year round to take advantage of fresh air. He wore long underwear in winter and gradually cut off the legs until summertime, when he wore them as shorts. He was also known as the Father of Camouflage. He developed his interest in camouflage as a boy observing animals ‘protective’ colouring. He is credited with being the first to write about disruptive patterning (he called it ‘razzle-dazzle’), which breaks up an animal’s outlines. He identified countershading as well. Thayer first became involved in military camouflage in 1898 and made several proposals to the military for camouflaging warships. President Roosevelt was not a fan but eventually in World War I the military accepted.