This work by Alfred Henry Maurer shows a woman in a red hat and elegant clothes, seated and holding a hat box

Alfred Henry Maurer

American, 1868–1932

Seated Woman

(Portrait of Jeanne Blazy), 1901

Oil on canvas

32 x 17 ¾ inches 

Signed lower left

SOLD

Often acknowledged as the first American modernist painter, Alfred Henry Maurer traced an aesthetic trajectory from traditional beginnings through a number of dramatic styles, including Impressionism, Tonalism, Fauvism, and Cubism. He grew up in New York City and at the age of 16 joined the family lithographic printing business. He worked as a commercial artist while receiving training at the National Academy of Fine Arts. In 1897 he traveled to Paris, where he absorbed the unconventional practices of James McNeill Whistler, who emphasized the abstract qualities of color and form and the emotive life of a subject.

A rare transitional work from this period, Seated Woman (Portrait of Jeanne Blazy) incorporates a pictorial strategy developed by Whistler: a single stylishly dressed female posed within an austere interior. The woman in the painting is French model Jeanne Blazy, a favorite subjects of Maurer’s who inspired several of his most famous paintings. Here she strikes a dignified pose, although her sophisticated clothes and hatbox may very well have come from Maurer’s costume trunk.

This work by Alfred Henry Maurer shows a woman in a red hat and elegant clothes, seated and holding a hat box