At the River's Head, the River Epte, Giverny, France is both a tribute to her master, Monet, and an empathetic portrait of her cherished daughter Edith (born 1880). The solid drawing and modeling of the figure reflects Perry’s academic training; the lush color and free brushwork of the river landscape reveal her ability to combine Boston and French Impressionist traditions. She was one of Impressionism’s earliest proponents; from Monet himself she learned to capture in bold strokes and color the sprawling landscapes of the French countryside.
This piece is framed with a Thulin frame.
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The daughter of two prominent Boston families, the Lowells and the Cabots, Lilla trained at the Cowles School under Dennis Bunker and Robert Vonnoh. Upon graduating she moved with her family to Paris where she studied at Académies Colarossi and Julian. In 1889 she attended an exhibition of Claude Monet’s paintings of figures in the landscape at the Galerie George Petit. That summer she met Monet in Giverny and spent the next nine summers there, usually renting property adjacent to him. From the artist himself she learned to capture in bold strokes and color the sprawling landscapes of the French countryside. She also applied this style into the American landscape and to her figural work. In 1894 Perry was honored to be included in an exhibition at the St. Botolph Club, where her work hung beside fellow impressionist supporters Edmund Tarbell and Philip Hale.
Perry became one of Impressionism’s earliest proponents in America, bringing back with her a painting by Monet. She hosted exhibitions in her home, exposing Bostonians to artists who mastered the impressionist aesthetic, including organizing Monet’s first solo exhibition in America at the Boston Art Students’ Association in 1894.
Collection of G.H.L. Smith, Palmer, Massachusetts
By descent through family, to Vose Galleries, inventory no. 27448
To Collection of Abbot W. and Marcia L. Vose, 1983 until present
Meredith Martindale and Pamela Moffat. Lilla Cabot Perry: An American Impressionist. Washington, D.C: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1990. Illustrated page 43, catalogue no. 21.
- Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1895 (as On the River Bend)
- An Exhibition of Paintings by Mrs. T.S. Perry, St. Botolph Club, Boston, 1897, no. 18 (as On the River, II)
- An Exhibition of Paintings by Lilla Cabot Perry, Guild of Boston Artists, 1927 (as On the River)
- A Memorial Exhibition of Paintings by Lilla Cabot Perry, Boston Art Club, 1933, no. 22 (as On the River, II).
- Lilla Cabot Perry: An American Impressionist, The National Museum Of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, Sept. 28, 1990 - Jan. 20, 1991, cat. no. 21.