Arthur Bowen Davies

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Arthur Bowen Davies
Reclining Female Nude with Hand under her Chin
Pastel and graphite pencil on brown paper.
6 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (16.5 x 31.8 cm)
Bequest of Belle da Costa Greene, 1950.

Signed by the artist in graphite at lower right, "AB DAVIES".

Belle da Costa Greene (1883-1950), New York, from whom acquired by the Morgan..

An important figure in American art of the late nineteenth-early twentieth century, Davies is perhaps best known as one of the leading organizers of the 1913 Armory Show exhibition that introduced progressive European art to America. Although he is associated with the Ashcan School of artists, with whom he showed in the 1908 exhibition "The Eight," in his own art, as in this sensitively drawn nude, Davies remained indebted to the classical tradition and was inspired by European Symbolist artists such as Puvis de Chavannes. His art is notoriously difficult to date. He typically did not date his work, and except for a brief period following the Armory Show when his work showed the influence of Cubism, his style remained consistent throughout his life. He also used his earlier work as a point of departure for new work. This was one of the first twentieth-century works to enter the Morgan's collection. It belonged to the Morgan's first director, Belle da Costa Greene.

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