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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 19th century: Une Martyre (Saint Thechla)




Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson

(born Philadelphia, PA 1847 -- died Brighton, England 1906)

Sarah Dodson started drawing at the age of three, making pictures of stories told to her by her family. Her father did not approve of this hobby, however, so she did not study art until after his death in 1872. She attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts but spent most of her life in Europe, painting religious and historical subjects as well as landscapes. It was difficult for women to establish themselves as professional painters, but Dodson exhibited several times in the Salons of Paris and Munich as well as in her hometown of Philadelphia. (Gallati, “Paintings of Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson,” The American Art Journal, Winter 1983)