Cecilia Beaux American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

In 1899, Cecilia Beaux was heralded by her esteemed colleague William Merritt Chase as "not only the greatest living woman painter, but the best that has ever lived." Today, such a qualified accolade may be interpreted as a backhanded compliment; Beaux herself rejected the term "woman painter." The Met was an early supporter of the artist’s career, acquiring this depiction of her favorite niece, Ernesta Drinker, soon after it was produced. One critic praised "the skillful handling of the whites of the costume and sofa and . . . expression of animation and the charm of youth." It was joined in the collection some fifty years later by Ernesta (Child with Nurse), a dynamic portrayal of the same model at the age of two.

Ernesta, Cecilia Beaux (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1855–1942 Gloucester, Massachusetts), Oil on canvas, American

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