Oil on board, 11.5 x 18 inches / Signed lower left
A native of San Francisco, California, Watrous, traveled to Paris in 1881 to study at AcadÃ©mie Julian with Jules-Joseph Lefebvre and at the atelier of Leon Bonnat. His early influences were French artists William Bouguereau, Jean Leon Gerome, and Jean Louis Meissonier. He would remain in Paris for five years, where he became noted for his genre paintings to the extent that a Paris dealer was able to create a market for them in London. In addition, his works captured the eye of important American collectors, so that his reputation was established prior to his return to the United States. After his return, he established himself in New York City. Watrous experienced vision problems between 1905 and 1923, which he accommodated through changes in his painting style. In the period between 1905 and 1918, Watrous executed paintings of stylish women of the day, sometimes including animals or insects adding birds, animals, and insects to add a symbolic component. Between roughly 1918 and 1923 he switched to painting landscapes influenced by the moody, haunting paintings of Ralph Blakelock. After his eyesight improved circa 1923, Watrous concentrated on paintings of still-lifes which sometimes depicted religious objects or the curios he had collected during his travels abroad. The 1920s and 1930s found him immersed in activities of the National Academy. Watrous exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, Pan-American Exposition (Buffalo, NY, 1901); Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St Louis, MO, 1904); and the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition (Portland, OR, 1905). A solo exhibition of his works was held at the Grand Central Gallery (New York, NY) in 1937. He was a member of the Lotus Club, Salmagundi Club, American Federal of Arts, National Arts Club, Salons of America, and the Society of American Artists.