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Laughing Girl

Robert Henri

American Art

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The City and the Rise of the Modern Woman, 1900–1945
In the summers of 1907 and 1910, Robert Henri traveled with his students from the New York School of Art to Haarlem, Netherlands, where he produced a series of canvases inspired by the children he encountered there. This lively rendering, executed swiftly in loose, broad brushstrokes, captures his sitter’s personality and exuberance. The work’s seeming spontaneity belies the extent to which the artist engaged with typing—in this case stereotypes of jolly Dutch children. The portrayal of types was largely indebted to the seventeenth-century Dutch painter Frans Hals, admired and emulated by Henri and by nineteenth-century Realists in France and Munich. Henri maintained a career-long interest in painting children, inspired by his travels abroad and in the United States.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1910
DIMENSIONS 24 1/8 × 20 1/8 in. (61.2 × 51.1 cm) frame: 34 1/2 × 31 × 4 3/8 in. (87.6 × 78.7 × 11.1 cm)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Robert Henri"
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed verso, in black paint, prior to 1943 relining: "101/F"
CREDIT LINE Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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