"In Homage to the French People"   Lot no. 765

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By Cameron Burnside 1887-1952

1919 (Estimated)
156.00" x 168.00"
Oil on Canvas
Signed Lower Right



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In Homage to the French People, 1919

Titled lower center: La Croix Rouge Americaine en Hommage au Peuple Français.

From the Collection of the American Red Cross

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Cameron Burnside was an internationally famous portrait painter and water colorist. He was noted for his portraits of well-known Philadelphians. Burnside was born in London, studied art at the London County Council school and eventually exhibited paintings at the salons of the London Academy. Later he moved to New York and eventually moved to Paris to join the American artists’ colony.
When the draft law went into effect, Burnside was in Madrid. While there, he registered at the American Embassy and returned to Paris. A physical exam designated him for Red Cross work, and he was assigned to work in a warehouse in Paris. He sorted and piled boxes of supplies constantly arriving from America until he became Ill.
Due to his illness, his commanding officer asked him what else he could do besides move boxes. Burnside responded that he was an artist and suggested that “the great piles of packing cases and bales of goods and clothing sent to France by generous people in America, something unique in history, one nation aiding the homeless and unfortunate of a sister nation - should be made part of America’s historical records in oil.” The idea caught on and Burnside painted eight large canvases depicting the American Red Cross relief work in France. The paintings were put on display in the main building of the Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Justin Vining, via Ask Art