Gallery Guide is a pretty popular publication that comes out each month that focuses on exhibitions at different art museums and galleries across the country. And if you look at this month's cover, you might think that it looks a bit familiar.
The painting featured on the cover is Daphnis and Chloe by Elizabeth Jane Gardner. If it looks familiar, that's because it is.
La Confidence, also by Gardner, is a part of the Georgia Museum of Art's permanent collection and is one of the most recognizable works we possess. It's been featured on posters, notecards, magnets and the like. We even have a large cutout of the painting that sits in our classroom.
Not only is it a beautiful work, but it's a testament to the career of Gardner, who was one of the first American woman artists who studied and trained in the art academies of France which, at the time, were dominated by men. She was a groundbreaking artists who shattered gender boundaries and help women gain more acceptance in the art community. Gardner would go on to become the first American woman to exhibit at the Paris Salon.
A native of New Hampshire, Gardner worried that her abilities were lacking, which is what prompted her to travel to Paris and study under William Adolphe Bouguereau. She quickly adopted the style of her mentor, who would also become her husband, and was quoted as saying "I would rather be known as the best imitator of Bouguereau than be nobody."