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About This Artwork
Dorothea and Francesca, 1898
Oil on canvas
203.5 x 116.8 cm (80 1/8 x 46 in.)
Signed, lower left: "Cecilia Beaux"
A. A. Munger Collection, 1921.109
"It doesn't pay to paint everybody." With this comment, Cecilia Beaux situated herself within the rarified group of successful late-19th-century portrait painters whose clientele was primarily the upper class. This full-length depiction of two of the daughters of Helena de Kay and Richard Watson Gilder is innovative in its portrayal of spontaneous movement. The Gilders were leaders of an artistic, literary, and musical circle in New York, and they were close friends of Beaux. The girls look down, rather than at the viewer, concentrating on their dance steps. The fluid brushstrokes and use of subtle color accurately convey motion and also give the appearance of a swiftly executed canvas; however, Beaux worked diligently on the picture for over two months.
— Permanent collection label
New York, National Academy of Design, Loan Exhibition of Portraits, Dec. 14, 1898-Jan. 14, 1899, cat. 24, as Dorothea and Francesca.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Sixty-Eighth Annual Exhibition, Jan. 16-Feb. 25, 1899, cat. 92, as Dorothea and Francesca.
London, The International Society of Sculptors, Painters & Gravers, A Catalogue of the Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculptures at the Second Exhibition, May-July 1899, cat. 150.
Buffalo, Pan-American Exposition, Exhibition of Fine Arts, Exhibition of Fine Arts, May 1-Nov. 1, 1901, cat. 686.
Providence, Tilden-Thurber Company, “Green Gallery,” May 1902.
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Cecilia Beaux, Mar. 3-14, 1903, cat. 14.
Buffalo, Albright Art Gallery, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Third Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists, Apr. 30-Aug. 30, 1908, cat. 10, as Dancing Children, incorrectly cited as lent by Richard Watson Gilder, Esq. New York, N.Y. instead of Cecilia Beaux; traveled to St. Louis Museum of the Fine Arts, Sept. 15-?, 1908.
Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Exhibition of Oil Paintings by Miss Cecilia Beaux, Feb. 24-Mar. 17, 1912, cat. 14, incorrectly cited as lent by Mrs. Gilder instead of Cecilia Beaux.
New York, Women’s Cosmopolitan Club, Jan. ?-Feb. 9, 1914.
San Francisco, Panama-Pacific International Exposition, Department of Fine Arts, Feb. 20-Dec. 4, 1915, cat. 3033.
Buffalo, Albright Art Gallery, The Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Fifteenth Annual Exhibition of Selected Paintings by American Artists, June 2-Sept. 6, 1921, cat. 6, as The Dancing Lesson.
Art Institute of Chicago, Thirty-fourth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, Nov. 3-Dec. 11, 1921, cat. 15, as The Dancing Lesson.
Rochester, Memorial Art Gallery, Portraits by Cecilia Beaux, Landscapes by Chauncey Foster Ryder and Max Kuehne, Wood-Block Prints by Gustave Baumann, Sculpture by Bourdelle, Lachaise, Derujinsky and Ripley, Dec. 1923, cat. 5, as The Dancing Lesson.
New York, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Exhibition of Paintings by Cecilia Beaux, Nov. 14, 1935-May 3, 1936, cat. 16, as The Dancing Lesson.
Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, Jan. 5-Mar. 3, 1936, cat. 131, as The Dancing Lesson.
Scott Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, April 2-9, 1954, as Dancing Lesson.
Chicago, Charles A. Stevens Store, March 27-May 27, 1956, as Dancing Lesson.
Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center, Cecilia Beaux: Portrait of an Artist, Sept. 6-Oct. 20, 1974, cat. 57; traveled to: Indianapolis Museum of Art, as The Dancing Lesson.
Mansfield Art Center, Ohio, The American Figure, H. Daniel Butts III, Mar. 11- Apr. 8, 1984, cat. 22.
Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Cecilia Beaux, American Figure Painter, May 12-September 9, 2007; traveled to Tacoma Art Museum, September 29, 2007-January 6, 2008, Pennsylvania Academy of Art, February 2-April 13, 2008 (Atlanta only).
Detroit Institute of Art, The Art of American Dance, March 20-June 12, 2016; travels to Denver Art Museum, July 10-October 9, 2016; Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, October 22, 2016-January 16, 2017, cat. 2.
William Walton, “Cecilia Beaux,” Scribner’s 22 (Oct. 1897), pp. 477-85.
Mrs. Arthur Bell, “The Work of Cecilia Beaux,” International Studio 9 (Oct. 1899), pp. 215-22.
“The International Society of Sculptors, Painters, and Gravers,” Magazine of Art 22 (1899), pp. 391-92.
Lorinda Munson Bryant, "Famous Pictures of Real Boys and Girls," John Lane Company, New York (1912), pp. 149-51, ill. as "The Dancing Girls."
Lorinda Munson Bryant, American Pictures and Their Painters, New York, John Lane Company (1917).
“Acquisitions,” The Art Institute of Chicago Forty-Third Annual Report, 1920-1921 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1921), p. 35.
“Prizes and Honors in Exhibitions,” The Art Institute of Chicago Forty-Third Annual Report, 1920-1921 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1921), p. 53.
“The Annual Exhibition,” Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 15 (Nov./Dec. 1921), pp. 174-75.
“Purchases and Loans,” Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 16 (Jan./Feb. 1922), p. 12.
Carlyle Burrows, “The Work of Cecilia Beaux,” International Studio 353, 85 (Oct. 1926), pp. 74-80.
Rilla Evelyn Jackman, American Arts (Rand McNally and Company, 1928).
Cecilia Beaux, Background with Figures (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1930).
Thornton Oakley, Cecilia Beaux (Philadelphia, Howard Biddle Printing Company, 1943).
Henry S. Drinker, The Paintings and Drawings of Cecilia Beaux, exh. cat., (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1955).
Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: a Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), pp. 16-20.
Frederick D. Hill, “Cecilia Beaux, the Grande Dame of American Portraiture,” Antiques (Jan. 1974), pp. 160-68.
Cecilia Beaux: Portrait of an Artist, exh. cat., ( Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1974-75).
Judith E. Stein, “Profile of Cecilia Beaux,” Feminist Art Journal 4 (Winter 1975-1976), pp. 25-33.
Tara Leigh Tappert, Choices—The Life and Career of Cecilia Beaux (PhD. Diss., George Washington University, 1990).
Sarah Burns, “The ‘Earnest, Untiring Worker’ and the Magician of the Brush: Gender Politics in the Criticism of Cecilia Beaux,” Oxford Art Journal 15, 1 (1992), pp. 36-53.
Tamar Garb, Sisters of the Brush (Yale University Press, 1994).
Judith A. Barter et al., American Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I (Art Institute of Chicago, 1998).
Judith A. Barter et al, The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 62.
Cecilia Beaux, New York City, and Gloucester, Mass., from 1898 to 1922; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1922.