Delivering a lecture at Simmons College, the American landscape and portrait painter Cecilia Beaux acknowledged that she was faced with the same challenges as her male counterparts when it came to painting the face. When clients and patrons commissioned her to do their portraits, Beaux said she was presented with the complex and myriad interactions between creator, subject and medium. Fortunately for Ms. Beaux, she enjoyed a long and distinguished relationship with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts that was collaborative. In her Simmons College lecture, Ms. Beaux stated: “In this collaboration between personality, artist and material, there must be exercised infinite reconciliations shiftings, compromises—exchanges between the absolute—(that is, the weight and momentum of the personality) and the flexible power of line, modeling and color…But to go into the intricacies and interdependencies of the interchange between spirit and matter…all of this would be an endless story.” What are your thoughts on Beaux’s notion of “intricacies and Interdependencies” regarding face painting (i.e., the interactions between creator, subject, and medium)?
Cecilia Beaux painting Cardinal Mercier, 1919
Cecilia Beaux, Portrait of Georges Clemenceau, 1919