Tanner, Henry Ossawa

Tanner, Henry Ossawa,

1859–1937, American painter, b. Pittsburgh; son of a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He studied with Eakins in Philadelphia and in Paris. Tanner made many trips to Palestine to obtain background for his religious paintings. His work is naturalistic, and the religious subjects especially are strongly rendered. Among his paintings are Christ and Nicodemus (Pa. Acad. of the Fine Arts); Two Disciples at the Tomb (Art Inst., Chicago); The Banjo Lesson (Hampton Inst., Hampton, Va.).
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Tanner, Henry Ossawa

(1859–1937) painter; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. A major 19th-century black painter of religious and genre scenes, he studied with Thomas Eakins (1880–82). Tormented by racial persecution, he settled in Paris, France (1891) and only briefly returned to America (1902–04). His early atmospheric genre works, such as The Banjo Lesson (c. 1893), have been recently rediscovered and praised by the art world.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.