Robert Henri

Robert Henri


Nationality: American

Birth Place: Cincinnati (Hamilton county, Ohio, United States)

Robert Henri was born Robert Henry Cozad in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1865, later changing his name in 1882 after his father was indicted for murder. After moving around and living in several different cities, his family settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1886, Henri enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1886, where he studied under Thomas Anshutz, Thomas Hovenden, and James B. Kelly. He went to Paris in 1888 and studied with the Académie Julian under Adophe-William Bougeureau and Tony Robert-Fleury. Travelling during his summers, he fell in love with the landscapes of France, Italy, and coastal Ireland, a subject in which he utilized throughout his artistic career. He became greatly influenced by artists such as Edouard Manet, Diego Velázquez, and Frans Hals from his regular trips to Paris. In 1891, Henri was admitted to the exclusive Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and it was shortly after when became a teacher for the School of Design for Women, beginning his influential and long career of teaching.

Henri moved and settled in New York in 1900, teaching at the New York School of Art from 1902 to 1908. He gradually transitioned into a bold and painterly style, focusing on urban realist subjects, rejecting and questioning impressionism and the academic tradition of painting. When the National Academy of Design refused to exhibit the works by Henri’s circle in 1907, he created his own independent exhibition, producing the famous show held at the Macbeth Gallery, “The Eight,” in February 1908. In the years following, Henri he arranged jury-free exhibitions, and he helped organize the first Armory Show with the Association of American Painters and Sculptors in 1913.

The representational style of Henri is a sense of spontaneity and quick execution, emphasizing the essence and joyous energy of ordinary subjects. Henri greatly encouraged experimentation in his teachings, asserting that painting is not only a skill to gain and perfect, but that it is a way of living and admiring the beauty of the world. Although he was an important portraitist and figure painter, painting mostly children later in his life, he is probably most well-known for the book in which a former pupil of his, Margery Ryerson, compiled his teachings and ideas on art entitled The Art Spirit (Philadelphia, 1923). He passed away in 1929, but Henri’s progressive ideas continue to influence artists today.


Robert Henri Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929) Place In Paris (Place de Breteuil), circa 1895-1897 Oil on panel 10-1/2 x 13-3/4 in
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929)Place In Paris (Place de Breteuil), circa 1895-1897Oil on panel10-1/2 x 13-3/4 in...
Lot 23065
Auction 652
Friday, May 25, 2007
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929) Coastal Scene Oil on panel 8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm)  Provenance: The Rober
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929)Coastal SceneOil on panel8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm)Provenance:The Rober...
Lot 23064
Auction 652
Friday, May 25, 2007
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929) Street Scene Oil on board 4.75in. x 7.5in. Signed lower left Inscribed on reverse
ROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929)Street SceneOil on board4.75in. x 7.5in.Signed lower leftInscribed on reverse...
Lot 30406
Auction 621
Friday, November 18, 2005
ROBERT HENRI (American, 1865-1929) Isadora Duncan and At the Opera (two works), 1904 Conte crayon on paper; charco... (T...
ROBERT HENRI (American, 1865-1929)Isadora Duncan and At the Opera (two works), 1904Conte crayon on paper; charco... (Total: 2 Items)
Lot 65037
Auction 5158
Thursday, December 5, 2013
ROBERT (COZAD) HENRI (American, 1865-1929) Sea Cliffs, early 20th century Oil on board 7-1/4 x 10-1/4 inches (18.4 x
ROBERT (COZAD) HENRI (American, 1865-1929)Sea Cliffs, early 20th century Oil on board7-1/4 x 10-1/4 inches (18.4 x...
Lot 77109
Auction 5024
Thursday, June 11, 2009

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