During World War I, African-American artist Horace Pippin was a member of the 369th Army Regiment. Called "Hell Fighters" by the French allies, these were the first African-American soldiers to fight overseas for the United States. Horace Pippin�s right arm was permanently injured during his service in the armed forces in World War I. The disability resulted in his unorthodox method of painting with his right arm, resting it on his crossed legs for support, and guided by his left hand. Because painting was painful, most of his works were small.
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago�
Cotton Merchants in New Orleans - c.1872
Edgar Degas (1834�1917)
When Edgar Degas reached New Orleans in 1872, cotton was still king in the city. His very famous painting, �A Cotton Office in New Orleans� shows a group portrait of the men in his family at work in the cotton business. �Cotton Merchants in New Orleans,� a second painting from the time, clearly shares its subject, but the differences in Degas's treatment suggest a radical shift in the painter's approach, from 'naturalism' as he would have called it, to what would become Impressionism. ''Cotton Merchants,'' with its more shadowy figures, its billowing sea of cotton, ''its quick handling of gesture and light . . . airy composition and genial use of color,'' is a very ambitious, impressionistic work. �Cotton Office� is a very different painting with its distinct portraits, complex arrangement of figures and detail rendered so meticulously that you can almost read the addresses on the discarded envelopes in a trash basket.
English Seminar Group
April 2013 Seminar Group