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The Winter Art Show

May 2024
1min read

Julius Stewart was ten years old in 1865 when his family moved from Philadelphia to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. Although he studied painting under the city’s best teachers and his work was accepted early by the Paris Salon, he was never considered anything but American, and he drew many of his subjects from among the expatriates living in Paris, including Vanderbilts, Drexels, and James Gordon Bennett. The people in his 1883-84 canvas Five O’Clock Tea , right, have not been identified, but they, too, are believed to be American, and the man in the upper-left corner may be the artist himself. Stewart’s appeal, according to one contemporary, was that “he never paints a woman to be of lower rank than that of baroness, and all his young girls look like daughters of duchesses.” The critic could well have been describing this canvas; in it even the dog seems to lay claim to noble lineage.

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