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Edward Bell
Edward Bell, The Mirror
Edward August Bell, painter was born in New York on December 18th, 1862. Edward Bell first studied art with his father, Edward A. Bell. In the early 1880s he took classes under William Merritt Chase and Walter Shirlaw at the Art Students League and also attended the National Academy of Design. Bell's first trip abroad, in 1883, saw him enrolled at the Royal Academy, Munich, as a student of Ludwig von Loefftz, a realist painter who stressed the importance of the Dutch and Spanish masters. While in Munich Bell participated in various important exhibitions including those at the Royal Academy. The Paris Exposition of 1889 was the first exhibition to bring Bell international attention. There he exhibited one of his most famous works "The Lady in Gray" which at the time was considered "a very radical departure" from a traditional sense. In this work Bell incorporated as background a softly patterned skrim, a decorative device he would use in many later paintings of women. His work was compared favorably with the works of his former teacher, Chase. Bell continued to achieve recognition in the 1890s following his return to New York, and after the turn of the century his delicately hued paintings of women brought him further renown. Drawing inspiration from both Whistler and Chase, he frequently incorporated Japanese decorative objects into his small idealized portraits. His easel paintings of this period demonstrated his refined talent and incorporated an "appealing naturalness and exuberance of technique." He also was known as a painter of genre, interiors, dancers, musicians, still lifes and flowers. During his life Bell exhibited and won prizes at the Royal Academy. He also sent paintings to the National Academy of Design in New York from 1886 to 1890. At the 1889 Exposition, Bell's work won a bronze medal, he also exhibited at the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition, Chicago and the 1897 Tennessee Centennial, Nashville. Bell won a silver medal at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, in 1901. He was a member of the Art Students' League of New York and was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design. His work can be found in various important public and private collections across the country. Edward August bell passed away in 1953.
oil on board, 17.5 x 12
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