Oil on canvas, 10.5 x 14.5 inches / Signed lower left
Charles Augustus Lasar, known as “Shorty” Lasar was a Johnstown, Pennsylvania-born artist. As did many American artists, he travelled to Paris to broaden his art education. He studied under painter-sculptor Jean-Leon Gerome, who also taught Pennsylvania-born artists Mary Cassatt and Thomas Eakins. Lasar’s draftsmanship became legendary during his tenure at Jean-Leon Gerome’s atelier. After several years of successful exhibitions, Lasar opened his own atelier, which catered to English-speaking female artists. Cecilia Beaux, considered the finest woman painter at the turn of the last century and a friend of “Shorty’s”, described him as “a funny little man with intensely bright eyes and dark hair, standing around—and his legs about two feet long”. Beaux felt that Shorty’s lessons were too technical; she preferred a more intuitive approach to painting. However, she observed that Shorty’s student clung to his strictures as if to a lifeline.