Monday, February 20, 2012

Gone and Yes, (Almost) Forgotten

Listen is a 20x20 oil done partially in open studio by Shirley Fachilla.

The woman in the painting within the painting is named Cecilia Beau. She was a portrait painter extraordinaire, in her time, perhaps as successful as her contemporary, John Singer Sargent.
I consider her success well-earned; for I think she was as good as Sargent. Her work has same fluid grace of brushstroke, elegance and exquisite light.  She painted as much as Sargent, too. And her subjects were often as wealthy though usually not quite as famous. But today Sargent is well-known and Beau practically forgotten.  
I really can’t explain or understand it. The fact that she was a successful woman artist should have made her more memorable rather than less, for in her time, women artists were scarce on the ground.  
I found Cecilia in an exhibit at the High Art Museum in Atlanta a year or so ago. I’ve included many links to her paintings so you may discover her too.
Listen above shows two portrait artists, Cecilia Beau and my painter friend Jean Gauld-Jaeger


  1. Amazing!! You really took on a challenge here! Great job. They are both lovely and work well together.
    Happy Painting,

  2. Nice work, Shirley.

    I saw several of Cecilia Beaux's paintings in a group show at the Laguna Art Museum a few years back. I can hardly remember who the other artists were in the show, but I sure remember her! She just blew everyone else away.

  3. Very clever, Shirley, the way you have posed the present person along with the painted portrait. It begs the viewer to hear the backstory! Well done!

  4. These are great. Just loving them.

  5. I agree, Shirley! Fantastic work. Both yours and, of course, Cecilia Beaux'. She is certainly one of my faves. Interestingly, the National Academy of Art, the school where I study and the associated Museum, owns a CeciliaBeaux self portrait. She was an "Academician", which continues to be an honor bestowed on celebrated artists. When inducted into the academy, they have to donate a painting, and in the past it was required to be a self portrait. Quite a collection!


Is it too early to send an invitation?

Pieces by (clockwise from left to right) : Susan Harlan, Janet Garner, Shirley Fachilla, Mike Martino and Topper Williams. So many ...