Page, William

Page, William, 1811–85, American historical and portrait painter, b. Albany, N.Y., studied with S. F. B. Morse and at the National Academy of Design. Among his best-known works are Farragut's Triumphal Entry into Mobile Bay (presented to Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, 1871) and Ruth and Naomi (N.Y. Historical Society). Influenced by Emerson, Page was probably closer to the ideas of transcendentalism than any other American painter. He believed that art was the earthly counterpart of the divine creative process. In Italy from 1850 to 1857, he constructed a system of body proportions inspired by classical antiquity. He also devised color theories. Page is highly esteemed for his portraits, which are simply and poetically rendered. A portrait of his wife, Sophie, is in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

See monograph by J. Taylor (1957).

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