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Lucien Whiting Powell (American, 1846-1930)

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Directory: Archives: Fine Art: Pre 1920: Item # 1169010

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524 North Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

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Lucien Whiting Powell (American, 1846-1930)

Noon Day, Grand Canal

Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1921, lower left and titled on the stretcher

Painting Size: 24” x 36”
Frame Size: 37 ” x 49”

Born 1846 in Upperville, Virginia, Lucien Whiting Powell served with the Virginia cavalry during the Civil War. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Powell moved on to the London School of Art by1875 where he was strongly influenced by the atmospheric painting style and romantic subject matter of J.M.W. Turner.

Powell eventually settled in Washington D.C. where he had a series of different studios, the most noted one at Henderson’s “Castle” on 16th Street owned by his formidable patron, Mrs. John B. Henderson. Perhaps with a certain proprietary attitude towards the artist, Mrs. Henderson owned some 200 of his watercolors and works on canvas and funded his tour of the Middle East in 1910.

An avid traveler, Powell also toured the American West in 1901. His best known works are landscapes of the Grand Canyon as well as land- and seascapes of Venice. Powell’s warm, earthy palate and loose, painterly rendering reflect his admiration of Turner.

Though he ventured far afield, Powell achieved considerable recognition in the District; his works were collected by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. He also exhibited regularly at the Corcoran and was a member of the Society of Washington Artists. Powell’s work is currently represented in the collections of American University, Georgetown University, the U.S. State Department and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

Benezit, E. "Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs"
Falk, Peter, ed. "Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975"
McMahan, Virgil. "The Artists of Washington, D.C. 1796-1996"