American Art · American Art of the Week

American Art of the Week: Girl with Japanese Lanterns by Everett Shinn

shinn_1912_girl_with_japanese_lanterns
Everett Shinn, Girl with Japanese Lanterns, 1912. [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.
There’s something so beautifully mysterious about this painting by Ashcan School artist Everett Shinn (1876-1953). I think it’s the contrast between the dark background and bright lights from the lanterns, combined with the loose, painterly brushwork making up the main shapes. You get just enough sense of the scene to be draw in by it, but details of the girl’s identity and the setting remain obscure. I don’t know much about Shinn, but I’ve recently fallen in love with his work, particularly his city views and portraits of elegant women. He also did numerous Degas-style ballet paintings.

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