Charles Sprague Pearce American, 1851-1914


Whether working on a portrait, an Orientalist picture or a genre scene with French peasants, Pearce was a superior draftsman as stated by Mary Lublin in the catalogue A Rare Elegance: The Paintings of Charles Sprague Pearce: "He became recognized both in America and abroad for his sophisticated technique, with its luminous palette and exquisite stroke, and for his sense of beauty and artistic control." All of these qualities can be seen not only in his completed works but even in the simplest of studies, such as this work.


Though Charles Sprague Pearce lived abroad most his life and married a French woman, he still connected with Americans. He became friends with expatriate artists like Paul Wayland Bartlett, the successful sculptor. Bartlett and Pearce actually exchanged a portrait and cast bronze of each other. Their friendship was strong and when the two men got married, their wives became friends as well.


Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France, 1894

Order of Leopold, Belgium, 1895

Order of the Red Eagle, Prussia, 1897

Order of Dannebrog, Denmark, 1899


Society of American Artists, 1886

National Academy of Design, Associate, 1906

Paris Society of American Painters

Salmagundi Club


Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, 1876

Brooklyn Art Association, 1877

Boston Art Club, 1877-1904

Paris Salon, 1876-77, 1879, 1881-96 (medal, 1883), 1898-99

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Annuals, 1882-1909 (gold medal, 1885)

National Academy of Design, 1883-92

Art Institute of Chicago

Mechanic's Institute, Boston, 1878 (medal), 1884 (gold)

Ghent, 1886 (gold)

Munich, 1888 (gold)

Berlin, 1891

San Francisco, 1894 (gold)

Atlanta Exposition, 1895 (gold)

Vienna Staats, 1898 (gold)

Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (medal)

Corcoran Gallery, annual, 1908

Museums and Public Collections

Denver Art Museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Portrait Gallery

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Smith College Museum of Art

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Zigler Museum

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