L'Enfant Gallery - Fine Art Paintings, Asian Art, Antiques

AMERICAN ILLUSTRATOR FRANK MERRILL 1848-1936

AMERICAN ILLUSTRATOR FRANK MERRILL 1848-1936


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Directory: Fine Art: Drawings: Pre 1930: Item # 1485432

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Frank Thayer Merrill (December 14, 1848 – October 12, 1936)[2] was an American artist and illustrator. He is best known for his drawings for the first illustrated edition of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women, published in 1880. Over a five-decade career, he illustrated a wide variety of works for adults and children. Frank Thayer Merrill was born on December 14, 1848, to George William Merrill (1824–1879) and Sarah Rose Merrill (née Alden, 1822–1895) in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Both parents were natives of Westbrook, Maine. His father was descended from Nathaniel Merrill, who emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1635. His mother was a direct descendant of John Alden, of the Mayflower crew.[a] Frank had four younger siblings: Clara Alden (1851–1902), Emma L. (1857–1939), George Arthur (1859–1932) and Mary B. (1862–1956). He attended local public schools, graduating from either Roxbury High School[5] or Boston Latin School[6] — sources disagree. (The 1865 state census lists the 16-year-old Merrill's occupation as "clerk" rather than "student". His mother "greatly encouraged Merrill's artistic development and from her much of his talent is said to have come".[6] Merrill participated in the free drawing program at the Lowell Institute from 1864 to 1875, and entered the school of drawing and painting at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1875. Career In 1870, Merrill established a studio in Roxbury[b] where he dedicated himself to a career as an illustrator as well as painting in watercolor and oil. He traveled to Europe in 1884, painting and sketching in France, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and England. He drew on his observations of Parisian life along the Seine river to write a story titled Through the Heart of Paris. It appeared in the January 1886 issue of the children's magazine Wide Awake and was included in a collection of Wide Awake travel articles, Sights Worth Seeing by Those Who Saw Them, also published in 1886.