Entrance to House with Garden in Full Bloom, which possibly depicts a corner of the Hardy property in Bangor, Maine, demonstrates that whether she painted in her studio or was inspired by an outdoor setting, Hardy’s floral motifs are imbued with a delicacy of hand and an innate sensitivity to the play of light on her subjects’ texture and color.
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Daughter of portrait artist Jeremiah Pearson Hardy, Anna Eliza Hardy was born and raised in Bangor, Maine and began painting at the age of sixteen under the guidance of her father. Hardy shared her father’s studio, producing portraits and eventually the gem-like still lifes and garden scenes for which she is best known. She briefly studied in Paris with still life specialist Georges Jeannin and also ventured to New Hampshire to study with Abbott Handerson Thayer, but her father remained her primary influence and mentor.
Anna and her father shared a love of painting as well as an appreciation for the natural world. As the Reverend John S. Sewall related in a chapter on the Hardys in Leaflets on Artists, published in 1893, Jeremiah found delight in spending hours tending the family’s garden in Bangor while his daughter spent years steadfastly devoted to painting the blooms cultivated from it: “Her subjects are roses and carnations, mayflowers, chrysanthemums and violets, and whatever else is most lovely and picturesque in the flora of the fields and gardens around her….Her lifelong study of every variety of blossom within reach had given her both a botanical and an artistic knowledge of her subjects. Absolute fidelity to nature is the conscientious motto of her work and accordingly her flowers seem almost the originals rather than their ‘counterfeit presentment.’”
 “Jeremiah Pearson Hardy and Anna E. Hardy,” by the Reverend John S. Sewall, D.D. Leaflets of Artists (Bangor, ME: John H. Bacon, 1893), pp 4-14.
Bonnie Crane, Crane Collection, Boston, Massachusetts
To private collection, Weston, Massachusetts