Fine Art Connoisseur

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FROM FRANCE TO GEORGIA

IN DIALOGUE: CECILIA BEAUX

Georgia Museum of Art Athens, Georgia georgiamuseum.org through January 31

Located on the campus of the University of Georgia, the Georgia Museum of Art has launched its In Dialogue series of long-term exhibitions focused on one artwork in the permanent collection. The subject of the inaugural presentation is the painting Twilight Confidences, created in 1888 by the gifted Philadelphian Cecilia Beaux (1855–1942). It is currently hanging alongside three of Beaux’s studies on loan from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the prestigious school where she became its first female instructor.

After her American mother died and her father returned to his native France, Beaux was raised by wealthy relatives who encouraged her to pursue a career in art. She spent the summer of 1888 learning how to paint outdoors at Concarneau, a Breton village favored by expatriate artists not only for its seaside views but also for the fisherfolks’ picturesque traditional clothing.

is Beaux’s first major exercise in plein air painting, in which she juxtaposes the figures against Beaux important experience in managing light and color as constructive and expressive elements, and also in mastering white as a container of all colors — lessons she would use for the rest of her life.

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