Lilla Cabot Perry Biography | Oil Paintings
1-13-1848 Boston, USA – 2-28-1933 Hancock, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
In 1884 at the late age of thirty-six, Lilla Cabot Perry began her formal artistic training with the portrait painter Alfred Quinton Collins who had studied in Paris under Léon Bonnat. In 1885, Perry's father died and left her an inheritance that she used to seriously study art. In 1886, she began to study with Robert Vonnoh, an Impressionist artist who liked painting outdoors.
Lilla Cabot Perry was commissioned by Aaron Lufkin Dennison one of the founders of the Waltham Watch Company to paint his three daughters, it paid enough money to sail first-class to Europe in 1887. She also traveled to Spain to copy works at the Museo del Prado. Lilla Cabot Perry’s 1888 oil painting The Red Hat, reflects the formal training she had received and her exposure to the old masters, especially the work of Sandro Botticelli.
In 1888 Perry traveled to Munich where she studied with Fritz von Uhde. whose subject matter and use of color had a dynamic effect on Perry's work, later that same year Perry returned to Paris and entered the Académie Julian to study with Tony Robert-Fleury.
Lilla Cabot Perry’s success in 1889 made it possible for her to be one of the chosen few admitted to Alfred Stevens' painting class in Paris. While in Paris, she became friends with Mary Cassatt, Camille Pissarro, and Claude Monet.
In 1889, Perry first saw Claude Monet's artwork in Georges Petit's art gallery. Inspired by Monet's artwork, the Perrys spent the summer near Monet's home in Giverny, to fully expose Lilla to the Impressionist's, and it was in Giverny that she fully bloomed as an artist. After the summer, the Perry's departed from Giverny to tour Belgium and the Netherlands before returning to the USA in 1891. Between 1889 and 1909 the family would travel back to France to spend every summer in Giverny.
In 1894 Lilla Cabot Perry had achieved another success when her Impressionist paintings were exhibited at the St. Botolph Club in Boston with other artists, but in 1897 she exhibited there again, this time in a solo show. Not only did this exhibition reveal that Perry’s work was being accepted in America, it additionally demonstrated that Impressionism was at long last beginning to be acknowledged as an artistic expression outside of Europe.
A new inspiration entered her life in 1897 when her husband received a teaching position in Japan as an English professor at the Keiogijku University for three years. Lilla Cabot Perry took full advantage of its unique artistic community and landscapes. Mount Fuji turned into the subject of 35 compositions and painted more than 80 oil paintings while in Japan.
In 1901, they returned to Boston, but in 1905 she returned to France and by the winter of the same year, her health had collapsed. In 1908 she had returned to Boston and focused on portraits because they were more marketable than her landscapes. She regained her health and had six of her paintings exhibited in the 1908 Paris Salon des Indépendents, including Dans un Bateau (in a boat) and Le Paravent Jaune (the yellow screen). In 1909 Perry returned to America with a newfound inspiration for her work.
1922 was a bad year as she became critically ill with diphtheria and her daughter Edith had a complete mental health breakdown and was sent to a private mental health hospital. Perry spent the next two years in convalescence in Charleston, South Carolina. While recuperating, Lilla Cabot Perry found new inspiration for her landscape themes and painted works such as Road from Charleston to Savannah and A Field, Late Afternoon, Charleston, South Carolina.
Her vocal support for the Impressionist art movement helped to make it possible for other American Impressionists like Mary Cassatt to gain the exposure and acceptance they needed in the states. She furthered the American careers of her close friends Claude Monet and John Breck by lecturing on their talents and showcasing their works. She also worked closely with Camille Pissarro to assist him in his dire financial situation by selling his work to friends and family in America.
Art Movement: Impressionism Art.
Artists Influencing Lilla Cabot Perry: Robert Vonnoh, Fritz von Uhde, Tony Robert-Fleury, Claude Monet.
She Traveled To France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Japan.
Painters Lilla Cabot Perry Influenced: Mary Cassatt.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.