About this artwork
This portrait of Henry Ossawa Tanner, an African American painter who achieved international renown, was painted by his friend and roommate Hermann Dudley Murphy during their student days in Paris. Although both received traditional artistic training at the city’s academies, they were particularly drawn to the modernist techniques of James McNeill Whistler. Murphy employed a thin, almost transparent application of paint and a muted palette of gray and green. The asymmetrical composition and colophon signature likewise evoke Whistler’s style as well as his interest in Japanese art.
- Hermann Dudley Murphy
- Henry Ossawa Tanner
- United States
- c. 1891–1896
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower left, with monogram Inscribed on reverse: "Hermann Dudley Murphy / 18 M 96 / Portrait of / Henry Ossawa Tanner / Salon of the / Champs de Mars 1896"
- 73 × 50.2 cm (28 3/4 × 19 3/4 in.)
- Friends of American Art Collection