Summer Afternoon (circa 1910). Lillian Mathilde Genth (1876-1953). Oil on canvas. Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville.
Genth studied in Paris under James McNeill Whistler. While in Paris, she painted his portrait.
Whistler’s influence can be seen in Genth’s work. Like Whistler, Genth chose to paint rather academic subjects such as beautiful women with subtle, exotic accents in their dress and surroundings. Both Whistler and Genth painted in a somewhat traditional style, using many of the techniques and some of the innovations of the impressionists.
Genth studied at the Philidelphia School of Design for Women and won the Elkins Scholarship in 1900 and traveled to Paris. Genth studied under Whistler for one year. His focus was on female nudes in pastoral settings. After painting 150 of these scenes and gaining significant recogntion, Genth declared that she would never paint another nude. From then on Genth painted only portraits of people.