Charles Ethan Porter
(1847 - 1923)
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Charles Ethan Porter was a noted still life and floral painter of the 19th century. Floral painting in the United States was
limited to a small cadre of artists in the 19th century. This was probably due in part to a dominant European floral
tradition that is still evidenced in European museums today. Consequently, only the most courageous American artists
ventured into floral still life painting.
Porter's paintings give a fresh American interpretation to an old European tradition. American flora is painted with
translucent colors and rich, full brushstrokes. The use of light and dark colors are utilized to create a dramatic floral
portrait. Porter's emphasis is upon the natural beauty of flowers. The containers, tables, and props are considered as
secondary to the miracle of nature's beauty. Porter's interest in nature was also translated into paintings of fruit,
landscapes, marines, insects and fish.
Porter was an active artist from 1865 to 1915. The following is an overview of some of his achievements. Exhibited:
1871 National Academy of Design. Exhibited: 1873 American Society of Painters. Exhibited: 1876 National Academy
of Design. In 1818 Porter studied in Paris and he carried with him letter of introduction from his sponsor, Samuel
Clements, Mark Twain. In 1910, he became a charter member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.
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