William Sartain

(American, 1843 - 1924)

The engraver and painter William Sartain was born in Philadelphia. He studied mezzotint engraving with his father, John Sartain (1808-1897), and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He continued his training in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Adolphe Yvon (1817-1893), and later as a private student of the portrait and landscape painter Léon-Joseph-Florentin Bonnat (1833-1922). He also was strongly influenced by the plein-air painting of the Barbizon School; his favorite artists were Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Jules Dupré (1811-1889), and Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878). Before he returned to the United States, Sartain traveled extensively in Holland, England, Italy, and Spain. In 1874 he went on a sketching trip to Algeria. Back in America, he set up a studio in New York City and became a member of the National Academy of Design in New York in 1880. Sartain was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists and later became president of the New York Art Club. He also was a teacher in the life class at the Art Students League. Sartain exhibited works including studies of heads, French and Spanish views, and several landscapes, at The Art Institute of Chicago from 1888 to 1914, at the National Academy of Design from 1876 to 1924, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1876 to 1912 and again in 1921.