Celebrating the Life and Work of Edwin Austin Abbey: The Renowned American Painter, Illustrator, and Muralist

By
1 Minute Read

Edwin Austin Abbey (April 1, 1852 – August 1, 1911) was an American artist and illustrator, best known for his paintings of Shakespearean and literary subjects, as well as his mural work. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied with Thomas Eakins. Abbey was a prolific and versatile artist, producing works in many genres including oil paintings, watercolors, magazine illustrations, book illustrations, and cartoons. Abbey was an especially well-known illustrator, working for many of the magazines of the day, such as Harper's Monthly, Scribner's, and Century.

He was also commissioned to illustrate books, including The Arabian Nights, The Last of the Mohicans, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He also painted murals in several public buildings, such as the Library of Congress, the Pennsylvania State Capitol, and the Boston Public Library. Abbey's work often focused on literary and historical subjects, and he was often compared to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in England. His paintings featured deep colors and detailed images that brought to life the stories of his subjects. He was known to be a master of composition and color, and his depiction of light and shade was especially admired. Abbey's work was extremely popular during his lifetime and his fame spread throughout the United States. He was awarded numerous honors, including election to the National Academy of Design and the American Watercolor Society. He was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Today, his works can be found in many major art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Edwin Austin Abbey was an important American artist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries whose works still inspire art lovers to this day. His stunning paintings and illustrations, with their vivid colors and detailed images, bring his subjects to life and make them come alive in the minds of viewers. His works are a testament to his skill and talent, and his influence can still be felt in the works of contemporary artists.