[Figure study: masked female nude]

Kenyon Cox

A staunch supporter of classical realism during the early twentieth century's move toward abstract experimentation, Cox was born in Warren, Ohio, receiving his initial art education at the McMicken Institute of Arts and Design in Cincinnati. In 1876, he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy, but, finding the instruction too rigid, he left for Paris the following year. He studied with Charles Carolus-Duran before entering the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Upon returning to America, Cox established a reputation for his mural paintings, highlighted by his grand mural for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This academic nude was executed during Cox's time at the Pennsylvania Academy. Cox's excellent draftsmanship is revealed in this drawing whose energy is accentuated by the free handling of the background. The inclusion of the mask on the model's face, concealing her identity, indicates the still controversial nature of studying from the nude model during this era in America. Cox had a distinguished teaching career at both the Art Students League of New York and the National Academy of Design. He also was an art critic for "The Nation" and "Scribner's." An outspoken critic of the 1913 Armory Show, he decried the encroachment of European modernism into American art.
Date of Birth
Graphite on cream paper
17 5/8 x 11 3/8 in. (44.7675 x 28.8925 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Academy Purchase with funds from the H. J. Heinz, II Charitable and Family Trust