Louisa in the Outdoor Studio,
Behind the Scenes
“Louisa in the Outdoor Studio, Anticoli Corrado,” oil on canvas,
William E. B. Starkweather, 1912.
William E. B. Starkweather (1876-1969) was an American Impressionist artist, book illustrator, and art educator who spent most of his life in New York City. He studied at the Art Students League with John Henry Twachtman 1897-1899, then traveled to Europe to study in Paris and Madrid with the Spanish realist Jaquin Sorolla. Following the trail of the British Impressionist John Singer Sargent, he visited Italy in 1911-12 and 1925. This canvas is inscribed on the back, “Louisa in the outdoor studio, painted in Anticoli Corrado, Italy, 1912 by William Starkweather.” Like many foreign artists studying in Rome, he hired models from the surrounding countryside. The town of Anticoli Corrado (northeast of Rome in the Alban hills) was an artists’ colony famous for its beautiful models and cheap studios. In a letter home to her mother in 1921, the British artist Winifred Knights described the village as, “a glorious place, a little terrifying, so wild and rugged with huge volcanic mountains all around. I have never imagined a more beautiful place.” Starkweather returned to New York, taught at Pratt, watercolor at Hunter College 1936-46, and in the New York City public schools. He exhibited widely and won numerous prizes, although his work is not well-known today.
Question: Tell me more about this artists’ colony outside Rome?
Dr. Kathleen Arthur, professor emerita of Art History at JMU, and curator of the Medieval and Renaissance art in the Madison Art Collection has researched the painting as part of the ongoing project to catalog the collection.