Young Girl, A
Young Girl, A
Benson, Frank Weston
Oil on canvas
23 1/8 x 20 1/8 inches
Wichita Art Museum, John W. and Mildred L. Graves Collection
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
Boston painter Frank W. Benson was a member of the American Impressionist group founded in 1898 and calling themselves the “Ten American Painters.” Benson was particularly noted as a painter of “well-bred, beautiful, young” women either in interior settings or out-of-doors in light-filled landscapes. This bust portrait of a young woman executed in fluid and spontaneous-looking brushstrokes conveys the verve and elegance, which made Benson’s work so popular.
Like many American artists of his generation, Benson received excellent training in the tradition of classical draftsmanship at the Academie Julien in Paris. Early in his career Benson supported himself by painting portraits. He later joined the faculty of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School where he became, along with Edmund Tarbell, a dominant force in the development of Boston’s artists.
In the late 1880s Benson began summering with his family in rural New Hampshire. It was during this time that the artist’s interest in outdoor light and Impressionist color began to develop. He later acquired his own summer property on the island of North Haven in Maine’s Penobscot Bay. This location served as an inspiration for Benson’s Impressionist painting style and for the subjects of birds and hunting which the artist explored in the printmaking medium of etching.