James Carroll Beckwith, 1852-1957, NY, Illinois, France. This oil on panel is exquisite, 35.5cm by 26.5 cm,(13 5/8" by 10.5") signed, and in good condition in a beautiful 4" gold leaf frame. Provenance: Private collection in the Midwest, Purchased from a Private Collection in Florida, Purchased at Thomas Moran Auction, Private California Collection. He was a landscape, portrait and genre painter whose style ranged from academic to impressionist. He is best known for portrait and genre subjects, was skilled in mural painting, and was highly respected as an art educator. He was enrolled at the Chicago Academy of Design. His good friend was Frederick Stuart Church, and they took instruction together under the tutelage of Conrad Diehl.
In 1871,the family moved to New York City. There Beckwith enrolled in the antique class at the National Academy of Design under Lemuel Wilmarth. Among his fellow students were George Bellows, J. Alden Weir, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and Frederick Church In October, 1873, Beckwith sailed for England, and spent the next five years abroad, living primarily in Paris where he entered the studio of Emile Carolus-Duran. Of this period, he later wrote: "I think my real Art life began."
Together with John Singer Sargent and Frank Fowler, he helped Duran in 1877 with the Luxembourg Palace ceiling decoration, The Apotheosis of Marie de Medici. With Sargent, Beckwith shared a studio in Paris, and they developed a lifelong friendship. In 1875, Beckwith met William Merritt Chase.
Beckwith returned to New York in 1878, and he and William Merritt Chase were hired at the same time as instructors at the Art Students League. He exhibited annually at the National Academy of Design from 1877 until his death in 1917. For the 1893 Chicago World's Fair Exposition, he painted murals for the dome of the Manufactures and Liberal Arts Building. Beckwith received several awards including Honorable mention at the Paris Exposition of 1889 and Gold Medal at the Atlanta Exposition, 1895.
He with his wife, Bertha, moved to Italy for two years, 1910 to 1912, where he did landscape sketches. Then he returned to New York City, but felt increasingly out of touch with the times because his conservative style of painting was not in accord with changing tastes and was not earning the money he had hoped. In 1917, just before his death, he was in California, visiting his friend, Thomas Moran, who was eighty years old. Of the career of James Carroll Beckwith, it was written: "In the minds of his fellow artists, the name of J. Carroll Beckwith stood for an unwavering commitment to the highest ideals of academic art. Throughout his career Beckwith remained true to his French training, first as a young portrait painter fresh from years of Parisian study, then as an influential teacher of careful, accurate drawing and finally as an uncompromising conservative bemoaning the state of early-twentieth-century art." His most sought after paintings are the Impressionist Scenes painted in France. His paintings sell for up to $400,000.