June 25, 2016

 In MOA Artwork of the Week

Robert Henri (1865-1929), Portrait of Fay Bainter, 1918, oil on canvas, 41 x 32 7/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of R. Phillip and Linda Rasmussen, 1991.


American artist Robert Henri was born on this day in 1865. Henri was one of the founders of the Ashcan School, an artistic school of thought that spurned the romanticism of the earlier Impressionist movement and instead embraced a grittier, more realistic style (and subject matter) of painting.

In 1908, Henri helped to organized a salon called “The Eight” featuring artworks from eight artists painting in the Ashcan style – and in direct protest of what they considered the narrowness of the National Academy of Design.

His works are celebrated for their intensity of motion and their realism. Said artist Eugene Speicher (who was also Henri’s pupil), “not only was he a great painter, but … I don’t think it too much to call him the father of independent painting in this country.”

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