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Thursday, January 19, 2012

History of Art:Edward Darley Boit (1840-1915)

Venice- Afternoon on the Grand Canal,1911

Venice- Off San Giorgio

Rio di San Barnaba, Venice,1911

A Street in Arezzo,1911


Venice- Afternoon on the Campo San Trovaso,1910


The AMICA Library-Watercolours by Boit


Like many wealthy Bostonians, Edward Darley Boit traveled frequently to Italy, eventually purchasing a villa in Cernitoio near Florence around 1897. Venice was a favorite destination for Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; Boit first visited the city in 1867. The bright colors and watery environment were conducive to his fresh, spontaneous style, characterized by broken brushwork, as in this view of a Venetian square.

Although living the life of an expatriate, Boit frequently exhibited his European watercolors in New York and Boston, occasionally in joint exhibitions with his more famous friend and colleague John Singer Sargent. A review of his 1912 exhibition at New York's Knoedler Gallery noted, "In Italy, which Mr. Boit has made his second country, he delights in representing picturesque aspects of Venice, Bologna, and Florence; with a rare felicity he expresses the gaeity of the buildings, the streets, the canals bathed in sunlight...."


Edward Darley Boit (1840-1915) was an fellow expatriate American Painter and his wife Mary Louisa Boit were friends of Sargent. They lived for periods in Boston, in Rome, and in Paris. Most likely they met in Paris although it's not known exactly when. It was in Paris that he painted the picture. Like Sargent, they were prominent members of the American artistic community and therefore shared quite a bit of camaraderie. (read more)

Daughters of Edward Darley Boit  by John Singer Sargent

The four Daughters of Edward Darley Boit are, from left to right: Mary Louisa (1874-1945, about 8 years old at the time), Flourennce (1868-1919, about 14 yrs old), Jane (1870-1955, about 12 yrs old), and Julia (1878-1969, about 4 yrs old). None of the girls ever married, and both Flourennce and Jane, the two rear daughters, became to some extent mentally or emotionally disturbed. Mary Louisa and Julia, the front two girls, remained close as they grew older, and Julia, the youngest, became an accomplished painter in water-colors