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Blind Spanish Singer

1912 Robert Henri Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1865 Died: New York, New York 1929 oil on canvas 41 x 33 1/8 in. (104.0 x 84.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. J.H. Smith 1967.41 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 2A


Luce Center Label

Robert Henri and his wife, Linda, made their first trip to Spain in 1900. They spent six weeks in Madrid, where Henri lingered at the Prado copying paintings by Velázquez. He traveled to Spain several times over the next few years, painting people from all walks of life with the directness that he had learned as a newspaper illustrator. Among his subjects were two blind street singers, who played their guitars in his studio for hours. Although he believed in painting honestly, he also feared that this painting of one of the women would not be popular because he did not disguise her physical deformity. (Boone, España!: American Artists and the Spanish Experience, 1998)

Keywords

Ethnic - Spanish

Figure female

Performing arts - music - guitar

Performing arts - music - voice

State of being - handicapped - blind

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas