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Henry Ossawa Tanner, Rivers

Raised in Philadelphia, Henry Ossawa Tanner (American [active France], 1859–1937) was inspired to become a painter at the age of thirteen, when he observed an artist at work in Fairmount Park. As a young man, he studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In the early 1890s, he moved to Paris, France, to pursue his artistic career because he found it impossible to “fight prejudice and paint at the same time” in the United States. In Paris, he painted landscapes, stories from the Bible, and scenes from everyday life, and his work received international acclaim. Tanner’s long and successful career secured his position as a leading artist of his day and inspired others to follow in his footsteps.

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