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 James Jebusa Shannon  (1862 - 1923)

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Lived/Active: New York / United Kingdom      Known for: portrait-child, figure

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Ad Code: 2
James Jebusa Shannon
from Auction House Records.
In the Springtime
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in New York to Irish-American parents, James Shannon became an expatriate figure and portrait painter who spent his professional life in England, although he did return to America for several extended painting trips.

In England, along with John Singer Sargent, he became the leading portraitist of the Vicitorian and Edwardian eras, the "Belle Epoch." Two years before his death, Shannon was awarded a Knighthood for his services to the world of Art.

Because he showed precocious talent, his parents had sent him at age 16 to the National Art Training School at South Kensington, later the Royal College of Art. In 1881, three years later, he won the gold medal in the annual competition of all the art schools in Britain. He also made his Royal Academy debut at the with a portrait commissioned by Queen Victoria of her lady-in-waiting, the Honourable Horatia Stopford.

Biography from MB Fine Art, LLC:
Sir James Jebusa Shannon was one of the outstanding Society Portraitist of his day. His success lay in an ability to paint portraits that appealed to the prevalent aesthetic taste, and these paintings reveal his artistic sensibility, fine sense of color and stylistic bravura.

Born in Auburn, New York, of Irish parentage, he came from a family that had settled in St Catherines, Ontario, by 1875. Shannon took his first art lessons from a local artist, William E Wright. In 1878 he traveled to England and studied at the National Art Training School under Sir Edward Poynter. As Poynter's most gifted pupil, he received commissions from Queen Victoria in 1881 and 1882, and although he had intended to return to the United States, the success of his early works persuaded him to remain in London.

In 1886 he married Florence Mary Cartwright, and a year later their daughter Kitty was born. He used them as subjects for his paintings on many occasions, and in these more intimate and informal works he expressed his true artistic talent.

During the mid 1880s, Shannon, together with his fellow American compatriot John Singer Sargent, dominated the field of British portraiture. Shannon's popularity was encouraged by the patronage of Violet Manners, later Marchioness of Granby, and he became the Manners family's favorite artist.

Shannon was a prominent exhibitor at the Royal Academy, the Grosvenor Gallery, the New Gallery and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He was a founder member of the New English Art Club in 1886, became a Royal Academician in 1909, was President of the Royal society of Portrait Painters from 1910-1923 and was knighted in 1922.

Following his death, memorial exhibitions were held at the Leicester Galleries in London and the Albright Art Gallery and the Cincinnati Museum, USA.

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