Paris Exposition It Was Officially Thesis

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56). The French government liked the Portrait of Miss H. so well that they bought it from Dannat and placed it in the Luxembourg Museum.

While Dannat's work got a lot of attention in Paris that year, Thompson claims that the "crowning achievement" in that American section of the exhibit was the work of John Singer Sargent. His six portraits in bravura style included the Daughters of Edward D. Boit, Mrs. Henry White, and Mrs. Benjamin Kissam. And while Sargent's work displayed feminine portraits at the Paris show, George P.A. Healy "was the most widely recognized formal portraitist of men" (p. 57). The oldest of all the American artists, two of Healy's male portraits were featured "prominently" right next to the main gallery's front door.

Healy's work included King of Roumania, Sir. Henry M. Stanley and Lord Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton.

Even though the portraitures drew a lot of interest, about half of the American paintings in the exhibition were genre painting, Thompson writes on page 58, and landscapes represented about 26% of the paintings. As to the genre works, the most prolific theme was the "depiction of the rustic life of the European peasant" (p. 58). Peasants were portrayed in villages, in fields, and also "on the rugged, elemental shorelines" like the coast of Normandy.

Artist Charles S. Reinhart presented two large "narrative compositions," Thompson writes (p. 58); Awaiting the Absent and Washed Ashore. The two of them illustrated the "aftermath of a shipwreck near Dieppe" that had been seen by the artist and captured on canvas.
Reinhart explained that "It is the life of the common people of the coast, the drama of the sea, that repeats itself year after year, as long as its breakers beat against the rocks and the poor fisherman go down into the sea in ships" (p. 59).

There were other categories as well -- city views, animals, nude figures, religious subjects and maritime paintings. Thompson (p. 63) explains that animal paintings were "surprisingly numerous"; paintings by Thomas Allen, Henry S. Bisbing, William Henry Howe, and Ogden featured "pastoral scenes with cows." American artists portraying sheep in their paintings included Robert Hatton Monks, Charles Sprague Pearce, and Gaylord S. Truesdell.


The fair in Paris clearly had a huge impact -- artistically and culturally -- on Europe and on the world. As Patrick Young explained in his essay, the 1889 Paris Exhibition offers "keen insight into the genesis of global culture" (Young, p. 340).

Works Cited

Boime, Albert. (1989). The Chocolate Venus, "Tainted" Pork, the Wine Blight, and the Tariff:

Franco-American Stew at the Fair. In Annette Blaugrund (Ed.), Paris 1889: American

Artists at the Universal Exposition (67-89). New York: Harry N. Abrams.

New York Times (1888). Next Year's Big Show: Frenchmen Beginning to Have Faith in Its

Success. Retrieved February 23, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers the New York

Times (1851-2006) p. 10.

Thompson, Dodge D. (1989). "Loitering Through the Paris Exposition": Highlights of the American Paintings at the Universal Exposition of 1889. In Annette Blaugrund (Ed.), Paris

1889: American Artists at.....

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