Cecile de Wentworth, the wife of Josias Wentworth, was born Cecile E. Smith to a prominent New York family in 1853 and died on August 28, 1933 in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes), France. She began her formal training, as an artist, after being accepted into the Beaux-art Academie under Alexander Cabanel (1823-1889) and with Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille (1848-1912). It was the influence of these two artists that Cecile de Wentworth developed her wonderful academic style.
Wentworth began exhibiting in the Paris Salons in 1889 and continued until 1920. She was awarded a Bronze Metal in 1890 and Honorable Mention in Universal Exhibition of 1891. She exhibited and was awarded medals in Lyon, Turin and was awarded 1st gold medal at the National Exhibition in Tours. Mrs. Wentworth exhibited "Prayer" #598 at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago.
Wentworth was appointed Officer de Academie, Paris in 1894 and Officer de Instruction. In 1900, Cecile de Wentworth received her most honored award as Chevalier de la Legion, one of France's highest honors. At the 1900 Paris Exposition, Wentworth was awarded a medal for her portrait of Pope Leo XIII which hangs in Vatican City.
She became sought after as a portrait painter. Her commissions came from some of the world's most noted people. Such as, Theodore Roosevelt, William Henry Taft, and Archbishop Corigan.
Musee de Luxembourg, Paris
Vatican Musee, Rome
Senate Chamber, Paris
Metropolitan Museum, NY
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Revisiting the City of White, American Art at the World's Fair, pg.346
Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, pg. 996
E. Benezit, vol.10, pg.691
Dictionary of American Artists, Sculptors & Engravers
Young American Art at the Nineteenth-Century Paris Salons
Lois Marie Fink, pgs.243 & 405-05
Biography courtesy of Roughton Galleries, www.antiquesandfineart.com/roughton