Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer

Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer (January 7, 1873 – June 24, 1943) was an American illustrator, painter, and printmaker known for her portrayals of Tennessee activity women and their children. As a printmaker, she pioneered the white-line woodcut.

Hergesheimer was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania upon January 7, 1873. Her parents were Charles P. Hergesheimer and Ellamanda Ritter Hergesheimer. She was encouraged to Make art in her childhood.

Hergesheimer was the great-great granddaughter of Philadelphia artiste Charles Willson Peale, who named one of his daughters Sophonisba after the Italian artist, Sofonisba Anguissola. Hergesheimer chose to use Sophonisba as her first name.

She studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women for two years, and subsequently went upon to psychotherapy at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for four years. At the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, she studied in imitation of Cecilia Beaux, Hugh Breckenridge, and William Merritt Chase. She was considered by Chase to be one of his finest students, and spent the summer of 1900 studying at Chase's Shinnecock Hills Summer School of Art upon Long Island. As a senior at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, she was judged the best pupil in her class and was awarded the Cresson Traveling Scholarship.

This allowed her to testing abroad in Europe for three years, where she trained at the Académie Colarossi and exhibited at the Paris Salon. She is listed in the midst of the students of Blanche Lazzell, who was known for her white-line color woodcuts.

As a result of having her play a part including in a 1905 traveling exhibition organized by the Nashville Art Association, she standard a commission in 1907 to paint the portrait of Holland Nimmons McTyeire, the Methodist bishop who convinced Cornelius Vanderbilt to endow Vanderbilt University. To work upon the commission, she relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where she remained the get out of of her life - first occupying a studio upon Church Street, and superior one at Eighth Avenue and Broadway. She spoke devotedly of the region and its residents, stating: "The country all but Nashville is, some of it, the most beautiful I have ever seen––a large and bounteous ring for the landscape painter. There are hosts of beautiful women and children and strong, fine men to inspire good portraits."

She next conducted art classes in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where her circle of associates included fellow artists Frances Fowler, Sarah Peyton, and Wickliffe Covington. She also maintained a lifelong friendship like landscape painter Orlando Gray Wales, who as well as was raised in Allentown and along with studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Hergesheimer's most notable portraits are those of Speaker of the House Joseph W. Byrns, Sr., which hangs in the United States Capitol building, and of Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury, which hangs in Maury Hall at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Though portraiture was her primary source of income, Hergesheimer experimented in new painting genres and artistic techniques, including printmaking, which she pursued to the side of the artist Blanche Lazzell.

Hergesheimer died upon June 24, 1943 in Davidson, Tennessee.

Some of the major collectors of Hergesheimer's play-act are:

Media joined to Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer at Wikimedia Commons

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