Lilla Cabot Perry

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Self-portrait, around 1884

Lydia Cabot , better known as Lilla Cabot Perry (* 13. January 1848 in Boston , Massachusetts ; † 28. February 1933 in Hancock , New Hampshire ) was an American painter of Impressionism .

life and work

Lydia Cabot was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Cabot III , a prominent Boston surgeon , and his wife, Hannah Lowell Jackson. Within the family she was called Lilla . Her family belonged to prestigious Boston society and in her mother's salon she came into contact with literary greats such as Ralph Waldo Emerson , Louisa May Alcott and James Russell Lowell at an early age . Thanks to the special gift of the hostess, who was also often called "Frau Doktor", people with the most varied of political views came together here.

Self-portrait, 1892

Cabot received a comprehensive and excellent education, she studied classical literature , languages , poetry and music . There are some indications that she drew sketches at meetings with her friends, but received no training in the arts before 1884. Cabot was 13 years old when the Civil War (also known as the American Civil War ) began. Her parents were passionate abolitionists and took an active role in caring for injured soldiers and runaway slaves . When the Civil War ended, the Cobot family moved to a farm in Canton , Massachusetts .

Lilla Cabot Perry in her studio, around 1890

On April 9, 1874, she married the Harvard Professor of English Literature Thomas Sergeant Perry (1845-1928), a great-nephew of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry . The marriage resulted in three children, Margaret (* 1876), Edith (* 1880), and Alice (* 1884).

In contrast to many other female painters, Perry only devoted herself to painting seriously after her wedding and the birth of her children . She was also one of the few American artists who lived and painted in Japan . In her work around 1889, after she had met Claude Monet (1840–1926), there was a change in style that was evident in both the technique and the motif. From then on Perry applied the paint directly and dealt with the landscape. Although Perry never achieved the fame of Mary Cassatt (1845–1926), she was internationally known and respected in artistic circles. The fact that Lilla Cabot Perry fell into oblivion after her death was partly due to her artistic orientation towards impressionism , which for a long time was considered less demanding.

Pictures (selection)


  • Alma S. King: Lilla Cabot Perry: Days to Remember , Santa Fe East Pubns (1983) ISBN 0-941430-06-5
  • Meredith Martindale, Pamela Moffat, and Nancy Mowll Mathews: Lilla Cabot Perry: An American Impressionist , Cross River Press (1995) ISBN 0-7892-0045-7
  • Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp: High Society. American Portraits of the Gilded Age , Hirmer Verlag (2008) ISBN 978-3-7774-4185-6

Web links

Commons : Lilla Cabot Perry  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files