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William Preston Dickinson (American, 1889 - 1930)
Still Life with Eggplant, about 1924, pastel on paper.
Partial and promised gift, anonymous Louisville collection 2006.7.1

William Preston Dickinson earned a reputation as one of the greatest American virtuosos of the pastel medium. He was known for a sumptuous color palette that was compared to dyed silk. In this still life, Dickinson’s application of pastel ranges from dense velvety smudges to the faintest traces of color. The tilted tabletop and patterned background disrupt an orderly sense of space and echo Cézanne’s influence. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City and later at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. While in Paris he was exposed to Japanese prints, and became familiar with the work of European artists who greatly influenced his work. Dickinson was a prolific artist who, upon his return to New York, became an important influence on early American Modernism.




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