Women Artists of the Nineteenth Century

I want to thank everyone who responded to my inquiry on my blog and on Facebook. It is unfortunate there are no monographs on these women. In fairness to those who didn’t get the names to all of them correct, only a handful of these artists were known to me—the rest I found during my research into 19th Century women artists.

The images of the last post from top to bottom. Here are the names of the artists…

Marie Bashkirtseff 1860-1884 Ukrainian/ Russian, studied with Jules Lepage and Tony Robert Fleury

Louise Abbéma 1858-1927 French, studied with Carolus Duran


Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale 1872 – 1945 English, studied with Herbert Bone at the Royal Academy

Juana Romani 1869-1924 Italian, studied with Jean Jacques Henner and Ferdinand Roybet in Paris


Maria Martinetti 1864-1921 Italian, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome with Gustavo Simoni


Marie Aimée Elaine Lucas-Robiquet 1858 – 1959 Normandy, studied with Félix-Joseph Barrias.


Sarah Stilwell Weber 1878-1939 American, studied with Howard Pyle

Anna Bilinska Bohdanowiczowa 1857-1893 Polish, studied with Rodolphe Julian

Marguerite Stuber Pearson 1898-1978 American, studied with Edmund Tarbell

A Brief History of 19th & 20th Century Outdoor Painting


Armand Cabrera


Prior to the 19th Century, landscape painting was used as the basis for allegorical and narrative themes. The landscape was idealized. Jacob van Ruysdael and Claude Lorrain captured effects of perspective and atmosphere. However; their paintings were composed much like a set designer would create a backdrop for a theater production. For these artists, outdoor painting was confined to sketches or preliminary studies for reference.


Outdoor painting has a relatively short history when measured against the great span of art across the centuries. It was not until the early 1800’s that artists rejected the contrived landscapes of their predecessors and turned to nature for their inspiration. A small group of Englishmen, most notably John Constable and Joseph William Mallord Turner, first produced finished works directly from nature.


In 1824, John Constable’s paintings, “View on the Stour” (1819) and “The Hay Wain” (1821) were exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon, winning Gold Medals. These works had a profound influence on the course of landscape painting in the 19th century. In France, Jean Batiste Camille Corot also painted scenes foregoing romanticized views.





The Barbizon School1830 – 1870
Originating in France, their members included Theodore Rousseau, Constant Troyon and Claude Daubigny. Their paintings were consdidered crude and unfinshed by the standards of the day.


The Hudson River School 1830’s – 1900’s
In America, the expansion in the West beckoned artists to paint these new lands. Collectors were eager to see the wilds of America through their paintings. The first and most notable painters in the Hudson River School were Thomas Cole and Asher Brown Durand. Following in their footsteps were Frederick Edwin Church, Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt and William Keith.



I Macchiaioli 1850 – 1900

A group of painters in Tuscany. Influenced by the painters in France, they rejected the academic romanticism of the time and turned to modern life for inspiration–again working directly from nature. Silvestro Lega, Giovanni Fattori and Vincenzo Cabianca were some of the notables in this group.

The Impressionists 1860’s – 1903

The Barbizon School and I Macchiaioli helped to form the great movement of the Impressionists. Beginning in France, they held their first show in1874. The Impressionists rejected the closed system of the academies. They embraced modern life as a theme. Claude Monet and Camille Pissaro were prominent figures in the group. The Impressionists sought to capture the effects of atmosphere, basing their art on the science of color and light. Most of their work was painted outdoors in a few hours time. For larger works, they would return to the same location, at the same time of day, and complete the painting.


American Impressionism1870’s – 1920’s

The Americas were influenced by Impressionism slowly. The first American artists to embrace this new style were Mary Cassatt, John Joseph Enneking and Childe Hassam. American Impressionism was a blend of academic training and Impressionist thought. This technique was recognized by more spontaneous brushwork and a lighter palette than the Hudson River School’s style. A few of the painters at the turn of the Century defied categorization—John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase, to name a few.



1920’s – 2000

20th Century outdoor painters had a unique opportunity to choose whatever style they felt best reflected their belief about painting. Many fine painters worked through the middle of the century in a Representational/ Impressionist style. Carl Rungius, Sir Alfred Munnings, Edgar Payne, Frank Benson, Edward Redfield and John Fabian Carlson are noteworthy.


Today’s Contemporary painters have discovered outdoor painting again. Building on the past, their commitment to works of quality have created a new Golden Age of painting.

The Civil War and American Art


 Armand Cabrera



 The Civil War and American Art Exhibition which is on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC through April 28th, 2013 has collected a number of Hudson River school landscapes, genre paintings with war themes and albumen prints taken during the war itself. The National Portrait Gallery admission  is free.
It is a powerful show, and has some of my favorite paintings by Church and Bierstadt as well as paintings by talented artists like Sanford Robinson Gifford, Conrad Wise Chapman, Winslow Homer, Martin Johnson Heade, Eastman Johnson, John Frederick Kensett, and other genre and landscape painters of the period as well as photographers Alexander Gardner, George Bernard Timothy O’Sullivan and John Reekie.
The large paintings are Church’s Cotopaxi 48×85 inches, The Icebergs 64 1/2 × 112 1/2 inches, Aurora Borealis 56 x 83 1/2 inches and Rainy Season in the Tropics 56 1/4 x 84 1/4 inches. Bierstadt’s large Painting Looking Down Yosemite Valley California 1865 64 1/2 x 96 1/2 inches and Thomas Moran’s Slave Hunt in the Dismal Swamp Virginia 34 x 44 inches. These major works are strung throughout the show and many fine medium and small works carrying the bulk of the display.


Here is a Link to the Show where you can click on the thumbnails and see larger images of the works on display but the internet is no substitute for the real experience.
The show Travels to the Metropolitan Museum of Art New York starting May 21st to September 2nd  2013. You can also buy a hard or soft cover catalog for the show.

Armand Cabrera Videos

My partner, Diane Burket, is a voice over professional and has been going through my older posts and recording them as video podcasts. She has been posting them on YouTube the past few weeks, so I thought I would provide links to them here so people can listen/watch when they choose.

Mixing Greens


Painting Autumn Color

Aldro Thompson  Hibbard

Isaac Levitan 

 Frederick Waugh Biography


Albert Thomas DeRome Biography
How To Paint A Straight Line

Organizing The Palette

Old Town Painting Demonstration
Instruction:  Shapes and the Importance of Edges
Ediza Lake Painting Demonstration

Art and Labor


Armand Cabrera
 “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study

 mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and

 philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture,

 navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children

 a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary,

 tapestry and porcelain.” ~ John Adams

We just finished celebrating labor day here in the USA.
 Labor groups have been much maligned the last few decades. Some of the criticism is just but a lot of it is not. With labor groups weakening we are seeing a return to pre-1920 work ideas. Almost gone are the 8 hour work day and 40 hour work week. Gone is the idea you get paid an hourly wage in some industries like entertainment and gaming.

What has this got to do with art you might ask? Well everything. Labor movements of the last few centuries took their cues from the artisan guilds that started during medieval times
and led to the renaissance for arts and European society.
It wasn’t quick, or without suffering but artists were there at the beginning.

Before the guilds you had very few classes of people in Europe. You had the ruling class, the clergy, the military class and serfs or slaves. Serfs were beholden to their masters and their masters could do what they wanted with them. They were expected to do everything to provide their masters with leisure time. It became obvious though that some serfs were better at building things than others, some were better at painting or pot making than others. Some had greater skill at metallurgy or woodcraft.
The division of labor started to fall along lines of skill but these people were still slaves
and when the ruler needed something they stepped to it skilled or not.

Guilds helped to change that. Guilds shifted the power back to the artisans who had unique knowledge that gave them skill with certain disciplines. Groups of people formed guilds around  disciplines to control the quality and the knowledge of a particular craft. The ruling class now hired and paid craft people to produce objects for them. Artisans became a class of people. It elevated them slightly from serfdom and peasantry. Their worth and status was not based on their bloodlines.
Though the artists themselves were not revered individually
their guild could be and that meant a better life for them and their family.
You worked as an apprentice in a guild under a master to learn to reproduce the master’s work exactly, learning over years to create a “master piece” something indistinguishable from the masters own work in the eyes of the patrons. Once this was accomplished an artisan could with his masters blessing then start another guild and continue the legacy of quality and style.
Guilds continued to elevate classes of people as society moved from small fiefdoms of slaves to freemen that were allowed to own property and control their own destinies. Again art and artisans led the way for this. As artists sought more control and expression over what they made the ideas of guilds loosened. Artists had more freedom for innovation and experimentation and this flowering of shared knowledge helped support the renaissance.  Artists were elevated to some of the highest levels of society as court artists, portrait painters, musicians, architects and muralists.
Every century brought greater freedom and a better standard of living for more people. Whenever things reversed and society faltered, groups of people would band together for their common interests and demand fair treatment.  The more skilled they were the more leverage they had over their place in society since their abilities could not easily be replaced.

Art and skill will always drive innovation and social change.
As artists let’s make it for the betterment of all in society.