Wee Maureen

Robert Henri

Ohio-born, Nebraska-raised Robert Henri studied at the Academy before studying and traveling in Europe, where the expressive brushwork of Velázquez and Hals influenced his work. After settling in New York, Henri adapted this style to modern-day subjects and portraits. With a cadre of students and friends - some of whom had also studied at the Academy - Henri organized an independent group exhibition in 1908 at the Macbeth Gallery in New York to protest the conservative exhibition policies of the National Academy of Design. Although described as The Eight, the artists were later dubbed the Ashcan School because their attention to scenes of modern life. After 1909, Henri began to experiment with an increasingly vibrant palette based on advanced color theory, an approach vividly apparent in "Wee Maureen," the portrait of a child from the Irish village of Dooagh, which Henri visited yearly. The grave but charming painting triumphantly unites Henri's interest in color with the thick impasto and bold handling that had marked his entire career - as well as remaining a testament to the artist's empathy with his subjects. An influential teacher, Henri published his lectures on art in 1923 in "The Art Spirit."
Date of Birth
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Herbert Cameron Morris