Oil on Board, 8 x 11.5 inches / Signed lower right
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Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ramsey served with the Pennsylvania Militia during the Civil War. His formal art training began in 1863 when he enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. After his studies were completed at the Academy in 1866, Ramsey joined the Philadelphia Sketch Club and opened a studio on Walnut Street in Philadelphia in 1867; however, his stay in Philadelphia was short-lived. In 1868 he traveled to Paris to study with figure painter Léon Bonnat. He would remain in France for approximately 12 years, making brief return trips to Philadelphia. He visited Normandy, the art colony at Pont Aven, Brittany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Ramsey’s son, New Hope, Pennsylvania artist, Charles Ramsey was born in Pont Aven in 1875. The Ramseys returned to Philadelphia circa 1878, but he continued traveling to France to sketch and paint. In 1882 he opened a studio on Chestnut Street and also taught at the Philadelphia School of Art and Design for Women. The Philadelphia still-life painter Anna Lownes was his pupil, as was Rebekah Roberts, who was to become his second wife in in 1892. The Ramsey’s spent time in Atlantic City, New Jersey and in 1897 moved to Lawrence Park, Bronxville, NY; however, circa 1900 they had made a permanent move to Philadelphia. He is best known for his wonderfully composed and detailed still-lifes and his handling of color and fabrics, and his trompe l’oeil effects. Ramsey was a member of the Philadelphia Sketch Club (1866 – 1903, President, 1874) and the Philadelphia Art Club (1890). He exhibited at Paris Salons (1868 to 1869, 1876, 1878 - 1880); Société des Artistes Français (circa 1868 – 1878); First Annual Exhibition of Society of American Artists (New York, 1878); 50th Annual Exhibition Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1877 to 1892; 1903); Boston Art Club; and the Brooklyn Art Association.