|Death Date: March 17, 1919
|The son of an early Ohio governor, Kenyon Cox, was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1856, spending his childhood in the Mahoning Valley. So many talents endowed Kenyon Cox that it is puzzling to determine which one to speak of first. What would not be expected of a man favored with such extraordinary family! If ever a man had a good heritage, Kenyon Cox had. His mother was the daughter of the noted evangelist, Doctor Finney, who was governor of Oberlin College. His father filled a long list of important government positions: a Civil War major-general who wrote one of the best histories of the war; governor of the State of Ohio and also its senator and congressman; Secretary of the Interior under President Grant. In addition, he was president of the Wabash Railway, a reputable lawyer, scientist, book reviewer and an authority on cathedral architecture.
According to The History of Trumbull County, Cox studied just enough to keep from being punished and spent the rest of his time drawing pictures for the amusement of those who sat hear him. His fondness for drawing was apparent at an early age. Illness interfered with his going to school; he was under the surgeon’s knife several times, and was bedridden until his thirteenth year. It may well be supposed, however, that a home education with his family was more than an ordinary advantage.
In 1877, Cox went to Paris to study with Carolus Duran, the popular teacher of the time, and then with the more severe master, Jean Leon Gérôme. He was engrossed with the study of the nude and he painted them for many years; however, New York patrons refused to buy them. His work can be found in the Library of Congress and many state capitols, including the state capitol of Iowa of which this painting is a study for.
Cox died in New York in 1919.