Studio: international art — 36.1906

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The Paintings of Elizabeth Nonrse

The paintings of Elizabeth


Eighteen years ago a young American girl came
to Paris and entered the atelier of Julian. Her
strong, vigorous drawing astonished the artists who
criticised the 'student's work. “ Since your draw-
ing is so good, Mademoiselle,” said Boulanger, “ it
is better for you to rent a studio and work alone.
You will there develop your own style, uninfluenced
by academic training,” Following his advice, she
remained but three months in the Julian school.
That same year she sent to the Salon A Mother
and Child., which was accepted and hung on the
line, an unprecedented honour for a newT-comer.
To-day she is one of the strongest American
painters in Paris.

Those who have closely followed the history
of American art know the principal facts in the
life of Elizabeth Nourse. The descendant of
an old Huguenot family that settled in Massa-
chusetts some two or three hundreds years ago, she
was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the early age of
thirteen she showed such remarkable talent for

painting that her parents wisely permitted her to
enter the School of Design. On their death
she determined to go to Paris. Unfortunately
her father, who was a banker, had lost his fortune
in one of our financial panics. To study
in Paris one must have an income. With un
faltering courage the young girl confronted the
problem of earning it. After school hours she
taught, designed, and decorated the walls in the
homes of Cincinnati’s wealthiest citizens. On the
completion of her four-years’ course in the School
of Design she was offered a very fine position there
as teacher of drawing. Her friends urged her to
accept, but, realising that it would interfere with her
more ambitious projects, she had the courage to
refuse. Happily she had a sister who aided and
encouraged her ; together they saved every possible
penny, until five thousand dollars had been
accumulated. With the little rescued from their
father’s estates this ensured their expenses abroad
for several years.

The French are quick to perceive ability;
they adore genius and do everything in their
power to aid its development. In spite of all
that is said regarding the favouritism shown to the


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