Petticoats in the Navy
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Framed 36.00" x 46.00"
Howard Chandler Christy first came to the public’s attention as a war/artist correspondent in the Spanish American War. One article in Scribner’s called, “The Soldier’s Girl,” featured his illustration of a girl who became known as the “Christy Girl” which brought him instant fame. From that time on, he specialized in painting beautiful women for many magazines. He also was an excellent portraitist and painted several famous murals, such as the decorative nudes on the walls of the Café des Artistes in New York City and “The Signing of the Constitution” which hangs in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D. C.
A cotillion is a patterned social dance that originated in France in the 18th century. In this painting by the same name, we see a line of splendid gentlemen waiting to ask a Christy Girl to dance. The rich, glistening quality of the women’s gowns and the light from the polished surfaces are expressed extremely well by Christy’s handling of this subject.
Signature: Signed Lower Right
Magazine illustration "Elegant lady and diplomats at formal ball." Done for decorative print titled The Cotillion.
Printed in "Thirty Favorite Paintings by Leading American Artists." Copyright 1908 by P. F. Collier & Son.
American artist and illustrator Howard Chandler Christy’s vast body of work includes depictions of presidents, war heroes, socialites, and politicians, but he was ultimately best known for his “Christy girl” drawings that depicted the idealized American woman. Christy began his career in professional illustration upon his arrival to New York City, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. At the onset of the Spanish-American War, Christy enlisted himself as a war correspondent for several publications, and received acclaim for his “Men of the Army and Navy” series and a portrait of then-colonel Theodore Roosevelt. With this recognition under his belt, Christy became a well-known illustrator, yet to avoid being type-cast in the military genre, introduced his first “Christy girl”, a prototype that developed into an ongoing series of the ideal modern, beautiful, educated American woman.
American, January 10, 1873 - March 3, 1952, Morgan County, Ohio, based in New York, New York