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Cecilia Beaux Self-Portrait

Cecilia Beaux, 1 May 1855 - 17 Sep 1942
Cecilia Beaux, 1 May 1855 - 17 Sep 1942
c. 1889-1894
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 45.4 x 35.2 x 2.5cm (17 7/8 x 13 7/8 x 1")
Frame: 57.2 x 46.7 x 5.4cm (22 1/2 x 18 3/8 x 2 1/8")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number
Exhibition Label
Cecilia Beaux's self-portrait projects a well-placed self-confidence. Aware of the challenges facing her as a woman, she declared: "When I attempt anything, I have a passionate determination to overcome every obstacle." The first woman hired to teach at the renowned Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Beaux became one of the most admired portraitists of her generation. Heralded by fellow American artist William Merritt Chase as "the best woman artist who ever lived," Beaux enjoyed numerous accolades. She received a gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for lifetime achievement, and she was one of the first Americans invited to contribute a self-portrait to the Uffizi collection in Florence. Although Beaux trained in France and showed her work internationally, her permanent residence remained in the United States, where she painted friends, family members, and numerous luminaries.
(Maury A. Bromsen, Boston); purchased 1971 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 131