Sarah M. Peale: America's First Woman Artist

Joan King, Author Branden Books $18.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-8283-1999-7
Sarah Peale (180085), niece of portrait painter Charles Willson Peale, made a living as a painter in an age that frowned on women artists. Spoiled and gutsy, she rebelled against her father, artist James Peale, who insisted that her proper place was as an assistant in his own workshop. Forsaking marriage, lest it interfere with her calling, she supported herself by doing portraits and still lifes. She was sometimes desperate for money, but she became a workaholic and persevered in her independent path. General Lafayette and Daniel Webster were among her subjects. This two-dimensional, fictionalized account by the author of Impressionist: A Novel of Mary Cassatt is filled with shoptalk and the day-to-day doings of a close-knit artistic family. King neither deeply probes Sarah's inner life nor situates her art in the context of her times. (September 1)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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