Pastel and Charcoal Drawing on Paper by Elizabeth Nourse


Elizabeth Nourse (AMERICAN, 1859-1938): 

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Elizabeth Nourse (1859 - 1938) was the first American woman to be elected a member of the Société des Beaux-Arts. Nourse is considered among the greatest American painters of her generation, and among the most prominent female painters of the nineteenth century. In her lifetime, she received major international awards for her scenes of domestic life, portraits, and still lifes. Her works can be found in the Musée du Luxembourg (Paris), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Getty Museum (Los Angeles), and Cincinnati Museum of Art. The journalist Anna Seaton-Smith, sent by The International Studio Magazine in 1898 to report on American artists working in Paris wrote: 

"To these Frenchmen Elizabeth Nourse's personality is an enigma. She paints like a man six feet tall — yet she is frail, delicate, a child in appearance and manner. They cannot reconcile her sweet, gentle womanliness with the virile force of her drawing and brushwork. With clear, strong strokes she interprets the life of the poor and humble. No painting leaves her studio that does not bear the impress of deep thought. Tho the homely senses that she loves to depict, shine forth the fundamental truths of humanity [sic.]. The simplest action, as a mother handing a cup of cold water to her child, reveals the underlying spiritual life. This is the gift of her genius and herein lies the value of her work." 

(Anna Seaton-Smith. "An American Woman Painter Who Has Been Honored in Paris."

Pastel and charcoal on paper mounted on Masonite, 1898, signed 'E. Norse' and dated lower left, with label from Spanierman Gallery, NY.

54 1/2 x 41 1/2 in. (sheet), 65 x 52 in. (frame).