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 Anna Eliza Hardy  (1839 - 1934)

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Lived/Active: Maine/Massachusetts      Known for: floral and fruit still life painting

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Ad Code: 3
Anna Eliza Hardy
from Auction House Records.
Peonies on a Tabletop
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Anna Eliza Hardy, the daughter of the artist Jeremiah Pearson Hardy and Catherine Sears Wheeler Hardy was born Jan. 26, 1839 in Bangor Maine. Anna Eliza, or Annie as she was known, was the only daughter and youngest of four children. Hardy's early education was that of schools in Bangor, Maine. She painted her first painting at the age of sixteen under her father's encouragement, promising her one of his landscapes if she would copy it.

Her love of color thus aroused, she spent most of the rest of her life in a prolific outpouring of small but exquisite still life. Her chief instructor was her father although she later painted for a short time in the studio of George Jeannin in Paris and had some instruction with the American Painter Abott H. Thayer. Never marrying, she lived in Bangor, sharing her father's studio until his death.

She was known to have a wide-ranging interest in everything from science to politics. The single theme of Anna Hardy's art was the intimate world of still life. It has been said she executed her compositions with "loving precision rendering bouquets of roses and wild flowers, peeled oranges, translucent grapes, and folded linen napkins in a manner that blended the decorative instinct of a primitive with the illusionism of a trompe-l'oeil painter."

Her sense of color was refined and delicate, though she had the power to capture the quality and freshness of nature, which distinguished her earlier paintings gradually diminished in the course of a career that lasted nearly eight decades. Due to failing eyesight, her last works tend to be much less detailed. In later life she lived for a time at South Orrington, Maine, and finally at Jamaica Plain, Mass., where she died of heart disease at the age of ninety-five on Dec. 15, 1934.

Blake Benton Fine Art

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Bangor, Maine, Anna Hardy has been described by William Gerdts as "the finest still-life specialist in Maine in the nineteenth century" (Art Across America). Her family was at the center of Bangor's very important art community. Her father, Jeremiah Hardy, was a portrait painter, and she studied and shared a studio with him.

She also studied with Abbott Thayer in New Hampshire and Georges Jeannin in Paris. She exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Boston Art Club and the Society of Independent Artists. Lithographs of her flower paintings were made by Louis Prang Chromolithographs.

Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists

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