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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
Artist
Robert Henri
Title
La Madrileñita
Date
1910
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 41 × 33 3/16 inches (104.1 × 84.3 cm)Framed: 48 5/8 × 40 5/8 × 3 3/8 inches (123.5 × 103.2 × 8.6 cm)
Tags
Painting
Credit Line
Museum purchase.
Accession Number
1919.1
Robert Henri objected to pretty, sentimental painting, crusading to bring vitality and realism back to American painting at the turn of the 20th century. Henri advocated a painterly technique based on the bravura brushwork of 19th-century French painters like Édouard Manet and their 17th-century Spanish antecedents, most notably Diego Velázquez. Henri's admiration for Velázquez drew him to Spain, where he absorbed both the technique and subject matter of Spanish painters. Although he painted several portraits of this sitter, Henri wrote to the Telfair president, "I feel that you will have in the picture La Madrileñita, one of the very best things I have painted.… It was painted in Madrid. She is a very young girl, born and raised as a dancer.… [I]t seemed to me she had in her carriage at all times much of the spirit of dignity of Old Spain."