William Mcgregor Paxton Biography | Oil Paintings
6-22-1869 Baltimore, USA – 1-16-1941 Newton, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
At the age of eighteen, William McGregor Paxton attended Cowles Art School on a scholarship. He studied with Dennis Miller Bunker and Frank M. Cowles and then went to Paris to study under Jean-Léon Gérôme at École des Beaux-Arts and also briefly at the Académie Julian in Paris. He returned to Cowles Art School and studied with Joseph DeCamp, who also taught Elizabeth Vaughan Okie. She would later become Paxton's student and then his wife. They became engaged in 1896 and married in 1899. Paxton's wife managed his career and modeled for many of his works.
William McGregor Paxton taught from 1906 to 1913 at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston and painted at Fenway Studios. He is primarily known for his oil portraits and he painted two presidents, a charcoal of Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge. His works often present idealized views of women, such as The Red Fan, of his wife Elizabeth. Inspired by Johannes Vermeer, Paxton crafted elaborate compositions with models in his studio, using props that appear in several paintings.
William McGregor Paxton employed a technique where only one area in his compositions was entirely in focus, while the rest was somewhat blurred, something he called "binocular vision" and credited to Vermeer. Today, this blurring is something that is used in tilt-shift photography. He began to employ this system in his own work, including The New Necklace, where only the gold beads are sharply defined while the rest of the objects in the composition have softer, blurrier edges.
William McGregor Paxton is one the Boston School artists and co-founder of The Guild of Boston Artists with Frank Weston Benson and Edmund Charles Tarbell.
Artists Influencing William McGregor Paxton: Dennis Miller Bunker, Joseph DeCamp, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Johannes Vermeer.
He Traveled To France.
Painters William McGregor Paxton Influenced: Elizabeth Vaughan Okie.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.