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( 1827-1899 )

Francis Blackwell Mayer

Art in Inventory

Born into a distinguished Baltimore family, Frank Mayer was encouraged to pursue a career in painting by the artist Alfred Jacob Miller. After brief study at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Mayer returned to his hometown in 1847 to accept a position as librarian of the Maryland Historical Society. At this time, he began formal lessons with the German painter Ernst Fischer and assumed an active role in the local arts community. Between 1859 and 1861, Mayer exhibited at the National Academy of Design, as well as the Pennsylvania Academy. 

In 1862, Mayer abruptly left for Europe. The conflict that divided the country also divided his family, and Mayer himself determined to remain neutral. Living in France through 1870, he entered the Paris studio of Charles Gleyre and studied with Gustave Brion and Ernest Meissonnier, whose realist approach had a significant influence on the artist. During this period, Mayer exhibited annually at the Paris Salon, specializing in historical subjects and costume pieces. 

A superb technician whose works are characterized by fluid brushwork and rich color, Mayer is best remembered for small genre scenes focused on various aspects of American life.


For more information on this artist and work, please contact us.

This essay is copyrighted by Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc. and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission.

1451 River Road · Yemassee, SC 29945 · 843.412.8738
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