Charles Sprague Pearce USA
10-13-1851 Boston, USA – 5-18-1914 Auvers-sur-Oise, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Charles Sprague Pearce in 1873 after his arrival in Paris, enrolled in the atelier of Léon Bonnat, a leading academic painter who had attained a high degree of prestige with genre scenes, history paintings, and portraits, and who also had his own atelier for students. During his career Charles Sprague Pearce would generally follow these same categories of painting, initially concentrating on history paintings which were often Biblical in orientation, secondly completing portraits and, during the latter part of his career, completing numerous genre scenes and also decorative work, notably for the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress at Washington.
He received medals at the Paris Salon and elsewhere, and was made Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, decorated with the Order of Leopold, Belgium, the Order of the Red Eagle, Prussia, and the Order of the Dannebrog, Denmark.
Among Charles Sprague Pearce best-known paintings are The Decapitation of St John the Baptist (1881), in the Art Institute of Chicago; Prayer (1884), The Return of the Flock, and Meditation. Pearce was also among those who knew and painted the Capri muse Rosina Ferrara.
The contribution of American artists, especially those working in a typical French manner, but in styles that were not as controversial as the incoming Impressionist group can often be overshadowed. Yet, in adopting these typically French representations, Charles Sprague Pearce spoke to a clientele and a public that appreciated his images specifically because they were in the same vein as many of the preceding artists of the nineteenth century.
Art Movement: Realism
Influences: Léon Bonnat
Traveled: France, Belgium, Prussia, Denmark