Waldo Peirce (American, 1884-1970)
The Papal Blessing, Venice
Oil on Canvas, signed with initials and dated: "(19)56" and with a lengthy inscription on the reverse.
Painting: 24" x 20"
Frame: 29" x 25"
Waldo Peirce (1884-1970) was born in Bangor, Maine, and educated at Phillips Academy in Andover and Harvard University. He later studied at the Art Students League in New York City and at the Julian Academy in Paris. As an expatriate American, he drove ambulances for the French Army in World War I and led a bohemian life with notable companions such as Ernest Hemingway and John Reed. Peirce was both a prominent painter and a well-known character. He was sometimes called "the American Renoir” Peirce was a large man for his time (he was drafted onto the Harvard football team, he said, solely because of his size) and with a mustache and full beard and a large cigar jammed perpetually into his mouth he looked every inch of a cartoonist's notion of an artist. Peirce himself was adamant about one thing: "I'm a painter," he insisted, "not an artist" His later life was spent in Searsport, Maine, and Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he died at age 85.
He is represented in many museums and collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Hirshorn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, at the Smithsonian Institution, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Gallery and the Whitney Museum of American Art.