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Guy Pène DuBois

(1884-1958)

Aliases: Guy Péne "Du" Bois, Guy Pene Du Bois, Guy Pène Du Bois, Guy Pène DuBois, Guy Péne du Bois

Painter, Illustrator

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Biography

(b Brooklyn, NY, 1884; d 1958) American Painter. Guy Pène du Bois is recognized for his exceptional approach to representing life in New York City. Rather than focusing on the gritty side of urban life, as did many of his peers, Guy Pène du Bois instead chose to concentrate on the metropolitan sophisticates of New York and Paris and the pretensions and conventions that accompanied their social standing. Pène du Bois' development as an ardent social observer began while he was studying under Robert Henri at the New York School of Art. Henri, a passionate realist, urged his students to take the people that surrounded them as subjects and to attempt to capture their essence. In 1905, Pène du Bois traveled to Paris, where he remained until 1908, spending the majority of his time surveying the crowds at various establishments and scrutinizing social relationships. His works during this time reflected the influence of Daumier and Toulouse-Lautrec. Upon his return to New York, the artist worked as a newspaper reporter, which provided continual occasion for social observation in a multitude of situations. Although he quickly transitioned to art criticism, the initial experience of covering the beat provided the artist with a plethora of subject matter. He returned to live in France from 1924 until 1930.* Upon returning to America, du Bois continued creating portraits of bourgeois culture as well as landscapes, until the decline of his health in the 1950s. (Credit: *Christies, New York, Important American Paintings, December 4, 2008, Lot 19)

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