A Rare Beauty
A Rare Beauty c1871 by French Painter Hugues Merle (1823 – 1881); an Academic painter born in Exeter, New Hampshire.
This is a beautiful and enchanting portrait of a young French or Italian peasant girl with blue eyes and long curly black hair; that is wearing a red scarf about midway on her head that falls off to the back and is dressed in a yellow-orange dress which has silver stripes with red and black borders; with a red stripe overlay at the top.
This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.
Information Below Derived From Wikipedia.org
Elizabeth Gardner was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, and attended the YOung Ladies Female Academy in Exeter; and later attended the Lasell Female Seminary in Auburndale, Massachusetts; studying art and languages majoring in English, French, Italian and German.
In 1856 she graduated from the Lasell Female Seminary and spent the next few years teaching French at a newly opend school in Worcester, Massachusetts.
She also taught art at the Lasell Female Seminary, and in 1864 along with her friend and colleague Imogene Robinson (1828 – 1908); an American Portrait and Historical Painter left for France, which would become her new home in the years to come.
During her early years in France she studied under Figurative painter Hugues Merle (1823 – 1881), Salon painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836 – 1911) and William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 – 1905); whom she would later marry in 1896.
At this time to make ends meet and to pay her rent spent much of her time copying paintings by contemporary artist and the artwork of the old masters in various prestigous galleries.
Later in the Autumn of 1864 Elizabeth decided to apply to the Ecole des Beaus-Art school; but her application was rejected as the schools at this time were male only and the ban against erolling women would not be lifted until 1897.
However this did not deter Elizabeth and she continued to eroll in private classes, slowing building an outstanding portfolio of her work.
Gardner’s best known work may be The Shepherd David Triumphant c1895, which shows the young shepherd with the lamb he has rescued.
Among her other works were Cinderella, Cornelia and Her Jewels, Corinne, Fortune Teller, Maud Muller, Daphne and Chloe, Ruth and Naomi, The Farmer’s Daughter, The Breton Wedding, and some portraits.