I love the work of Cecilia Beaux, particularly this painting of Henry Sturgis Drinker. She was a Sargent contemporary and in many ways his strongest competition. I remember when I first found this painting in a book in my college library. I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that it was painted by a woman artist. It's not that I don't appreciate male artists, it was just a sudden realization that I didn't have many connections to women of art history's past. I know there are the handful which are now more known from the Renaissance (Anguissola, Gentileschi) but in Cecilia Beaux I found an incredible female, figurative, American painter of the not so distant past.
Man with a Cat, 1898
oil on canvas
48" x 34"
Smithsonian American Art Museum