Henri, Robert (hĕnˈrĪ) [key], 1865–1929, American painter and teacher, b. Cincinnati as Robert Henry Cozad. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1888 he went to Paris, where he worked at Julian's and the Beaux-Arts until, dissatisfied with the schools, he set up his own studio. In 1891 he returned to Philadelphia. As a member of the group of artists known as the Eight, he participated in the rebellion against academic art. Henri became one of the foremost American art teachers. First in Philadelphia, then at the Chase School in New York City, at his own school (1909–12), and at the Art Students League he inspired his students with his dynamic concept of art. Opposed to the formalization of style, he viewed art as a medium to express life and especially humanity. Among his pupils were George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and Edward Hopper. In his own work, Henri excelled in dramatic portraits. Characteristic are his Spanish Gypsy (Metropolitan Mus.); Young Woman in Black, Himself, and Herself (Art Inst., Chicago); and Girl with a Fan (Pennsylvania Acad. of the Fine Arts).
See his Art Spirit (1960); study by W. I. Homer (1969).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: American and Canadian Art: Biographies