Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Art Review - "Woodrow Wilson" by John Christen Johansen

One of my favorite portraits from the National Portrait Gallery's collection is the subject of today's #MuseumTourTuesday.

John Christen Johansen was a Danish-born artist living in Chicago. He painted this sketch of President Woodrow Wilson during the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles. It is such a great piece, with a solid grasp of drawing that comes through in the confidence of the brushstrokes and the sculpted form of the head. Johansen was commissioned by the U.S. government to document the signing of the treaty, and I can only imagine the stress of attempting to capture not only President Wilson, but the many other dignitaries present.

Born in Copenhagen, and relocating to the U.S. as an infant, Johansen later studied under another of my favorite painters, Frank Duveneck, and went on to teach at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to Paris in 1919, and befriended other great artists such as John Singer Sargent and James Whistler.

"Woodrow Wilson" • John Christen Johansen • Oil on Canvas • 1919 • 30 5/16" x 25 1/8"

Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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